I love birthdays - the gift giving, the surprises, the love, the cake! And this past weekend we made sure Andrew had a 25th birthday to remember. He got not just one, but TWO surprises (special shout out to Tina, Michelle, Matt, the roomies, Millie, James, and my own roomie for the help), lots of love, and of course, lots of cake.
When I set out brainstorming about what type of cake to make this guy, I almost couldn't decide. Mint chocolate chip? Coconut? Something absolutely nuts like bacon and chocolate? And then a little thought popped into my head... beer? Better yet... a stout? It is, after all, this guy's favorite beer. And it does taste pretty darn nice with chocolate. Ding ding ding! Chocolate stout it was!
So here's the recipe for the cake. I brought it to the chicken and waffles restaurant on my new little jade cake stand, frosted naked style because I find the ratio of frosting to cake so much more balanced that way. The frosting was a simple buttercream jazzed up with espresso powder and tasted "exactly like coffee ice cream" according to Andrew. It's a lovely cake for the coffee aficionado, the stout lover, or the chocolate addict.
Which basically covers every type of medical student there is, so there's that.
P.S. Andrew totally called me out on not even explaining the cute little elephant chocolates in the pictures! They were a pretty gift from his parents all the way from Thailand - and they are not only cute but really really really good to eat. I have two boxes of them so if you're in the area, please come find me. I'll pour you a glass of wine and we can eat chocolate and watch chick flicks and be girly.
Chocolate stout cake with espresso buttercream
For the cake
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup stout, room temperature (I used Bell's Kalamazoo Chocolate Stout)
For the frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp espresso powder
Milk (a few tablespoons)
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until combined.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar and butter until soft and fluffy. Add the 2 eggs, sour cream, and mix until well combined. Add the stout and mix again.
Add the dry ingredients to the sugar/butter mixture and mix until there are no lumps, but don't overbeat! Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when taken out of the center of the cakes.
Let the cakes cool for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool cakes completely on a cooling rack, then frost.
For the frosting
Whip the butter with a mixer until creamy. Add about a cup of powdered sugar and mix. Continue to add cups of powdered sugar until it gets too thick to whip properly. At that point, add espresso powder and a couple tablespoons of milk, and continue to beat until it reaches a frosting consistency. You may need to add more powdered sugar or milk to get it to the consistency you like.
Frost the cakes and enjoy for a birthday, or really for any day!