With a fierce chocolate flavor and superb mascarpone frosting, this chocolate stout cake just might be your new favorite cake!
Prep Time: 15mins
Cook Time: 45mins
Time to chill: 45mins
1 1/2sticks(170g)unsalted butter(chopped)
3/4cup(75g)unsweetened cocoa((I use Dutch processed))
1teaspooninstant espresso powder
1/2teaspoonfine sea salt
1teaspoonvanilla extract(or vanilla paste)
2 1/2teaspoonsbaking soda
17.6oz(500g)mascarpone cheese(cold from the refrigerator )
1cup(240ml)whipping cream(cold from the refrigerator )
6tablespoonspowdered sugar(plus more to taste )
1teaspoonvanilla bean paste(or beans from 1 vanilla pod)
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and butter a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment too. Set aside.
Combine stout and butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, keep it like that until the butter completely melts, then remove from heat. Stir in cocoa, sugar, espresso powder and salt, whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Whisk sour cream with eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Next stir in the stout mixture. Lastly add the flour and baking soda and whisk until smooth. The batter can have air bubbles, but no patches of flour. It should be smooth but somewhat thick, like pancake batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes (mine needed only 45 minutes), until the cake is firm and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven, set it on a cooling rack and let it sit like that for 45 minutes. It has to cool in the pan.
To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin knife around the sides of the cake. Remove the ring part of the pan, invert cake on a plate to peel of the parchment paper, then flip the cake back so the bottom part sits on a plate. (At this point you can frost the cake or wrap it into plastic and store it at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.)
To make the frosting, first place the mascarpone in a large bowl and gently stir it with a spatula to make it creamy. In another bowl, combine cream with sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until soft-to-medium peaks form.
Stir the cream into mascarpone and beat on low speed for 30-60 seconds until the mixture is completely blended. It should be smooth (not grainy!) and fluffy. Spread frosting over cake, add gold leaf or sprinkles if desired and serve.If you’re not serving it right away, keep the cake in the refrigerator. Keep leftover cake covered in the refrigerator as well and eat within 3 days.
About mascarpone frosting
Cream whips best when it's cold. To prevent curdling, the cream and mascarpone have to be at the same temperature, so both need to be cold.
Mascarpone gets softer in a warm environment. So the more time it spends outside the refrigerator, the softer it'll get. Take it out when you are ready to make the frosting, no sooner.
If your frosting is too fluffy and soft, has a hard time staying put and making hard peaks, you should chill it before you put it on the cake. 1-2 hours should be enough. This will allow the mascarpone to harden again.
You can also make it in advance, as I find that whipped cream keeps pretty well overnight. Store made frosting in an airtight container, lightly mix it with a spatula before putting it on the cake the next day.
You don’t have to use a springform pan, a simple cake pan is good enough. However you want one with high sides, because this is a pretty tall cake. If you only have classic cake pans, bake this cake in two 9-inch cake pans instead and make it a layer cake instead!Gold leaf on top is very, very optional. Gold or colorful sprinkles would make this cake extra pretty. For a more classic look, use chocolate shavings instead.