It feels like it’s been awhile. I’m not sure I can remember too many times when the product of my labors in the kitchen didn’t appear on these pages for an extended period but this week it happened and since this is my business as well as my passion, that’s just bad timing. But then…computer parts don’t respect timing much do they? So to make up for my mini-disaster; I went all out and I promise you, this Chocolate Orange Stout Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting was worth waiting for. I mean it…it’s an Oh My for sure!
I missed last month’s Progressive Eats event, I have been dealing with the perfect storm. I have been limping along with a slow laptop and a problematic desktop so last month I reneged and thought with the extra time that I would focus on taking care of them and I thought I had. The laptop is an upgrade so that was a given but the desktop seemed to need a new fan and after a long trip to get a new one, a stop at a friend’s to get help taking everything apart I thought I was golden. Until the little buggar did as it had been for weeks…it just died. Kaput; no warning at all, just from on to off in a heartbeat.
So the past week has been a journey of discovery to find what’s wrong and it’s consumed me and I’m over it. All I want to do now is talk to you about beer and CAKE!
I often get invited to local events; many restaurants hold media events to share a grand re-opening or even just the inaugural opening to let us know about a new menu or sometimes just because. It’s good press for them if we share our experience and fun for me and usually a friend I’m encouraged to invite. The invitation a couple of weeks ago was to a media event at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, CO. While the original brewery was actually started in Breckenridge, the major part of the business has moved to the Denver area and it’s like a small campus. There is a bar and a restaurant in one building and out buildings that are the real guts of the operation.
The focal point of this event was the launch of a new product for the brewery, a seasonal Chocolate Orange Stout. We were given a mini lesson on the making of this product and given a chance to tour the facility. As for the making part, it’s an interesting tale about Nitrogen Charged beer and how another local purveryor, Cholaca out of Boulder, CO, ended up as one of the ingredients.
What was evident from hearing the owners of both respective companies speak was the level of care that each of them take in the making of their product. My friend Jane is much more of a beer connoisseur than I am so she was the perfect person to invite along and let me just tell you, we had a great time. This one was fun from start to finish. While we were with a media group, the public had also been invited to the launch at noon…this photo is a before shot of their fantastic bar area soon to literally be filled with patrons; young, old and in between and every single one of us was having a blast; the ambiance is warm and inviting, the staff courteous and knowledgeable and overall the experience was just fun. Who doesn’t need more fun, right?
Before we had the pleasure of tasting some great appetizers from the chef, we were invited to go on a tour of the facility. I sent Jane as my agent…I had just wrenched my left knee in a dumb ‘trying to decorate the house’ move and that combined with a bit of snow on the ground and yes, I was a wuss and decided it best if I not risk further injury. I’ll be going back for my own tour in the near term…I’ll fill you in on all the details; in the meantime I had to to stay behind and sit in front of the fire in one of their newest additions to their campus, the Farm House Restaurant. So unfair. To everyone not with me. 🙂
Once everyone returned from the tour, it was time to get down to business; the business of sampling the stout and some truly amazing bites prepared by the chef using the same Chocola product that is an ingredient in the beer. It was interesting to discover just how fantastic a high end bitter chocolate can make in foods other than sweets. Not that I don’t love my sweets and the bite chef prepared for us was superb. A rich and bitter chocolate cake just slightly sweetened with a dollop of frosting on top.
I knew immediately that I must also make a cake…the flavor combination was so fantastic in the beer with just enough of the chocolate and orange to lend a hint without making the beer sweet or more chocolate than beer. It reminded me of putting espresso into chocolate desserts that I make…you’re not exactly sure what is making it taste so good but you just know something is putting it over the top. That’s what chocolate and orange did for the beer and that’s what the beer did for my favorite stout cake.
My Progressive Eats family with Jane of The Heritage Cook hosting this month had decided we should contribute something for a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out; a virtual Progressive Dinner! This month’s theme is a New Year’s Eve so we hope you will enjoy these jaw-dropping recipes (listed after the cake recipe), ideal for any special occasion and the perfect way to ring in the New Year!
I signed up for dessert before I even knew what I would be making but I must tell you, this could be…no SHOULD be your dessert. Rich with chocolate and the subtleness of the stout all met with a decadent orange buttercream frosting. I sliced the cake for a photo but haven’t had any yet except a bite or two and it’s KILLING me…but I hate digging chocolate crumbs out of a keyboard so I’m being good; if you see typos just blame chocolate cake on my hurrying OK?
By the way, I’m curious. Another blogger mentioned last week on Facebook that she is not crazy about the ‘naked’ style of cake decorating that I’ve enjoyed doing lately. I love them…and not because they are easy to frost because they are not. I just love seeing the inside juxtaposed with the frosting and think it looks more interesting and can be tied in to a garnish for a great overall effect. What do you think? Yay or Nay?
Still, either way? Totally rich. Totally decadent. Totally my new favorite cake!
Chocolate Orange Stout Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting
Bring together the flavors of chocolate with stout for a rich cake and top with an orange buttercream for a great balance. Perfect for a holiday or birthday celebration!
For the Cake:
- 2 cups Chocolate Orange Stout
- 2 cups (4 sticks) butter
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups yogurt
For the Frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 c powdered sugar
- a pinch of kosher salt
- zest of one orange
- 6 Tbsp orange juice
- 3 Tbsp Orange Liqueur
- Milk if needed
For the Garnish:
- Orange Slices (See note if you want to make Candied Orange Slices)
- Grated Chocolate
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
- Bring the 2 cups of Chocolate Orange Stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
- Using electric mixer, beat eggs and yogurt in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
- Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Beat butter until smooth and gradually add powdered sugar.
- Add salt, zest, orange juice and orange liqueur and beat until combined.
- If too thick, add milk as need to get desired consistency.
- Frost as desired and decorate with orange slices, cocoa and grated chocolate (see notes for making candied oranges).
If you want to make candied oranges:
1/2 cup sugar1 1/2 cups waterOne medium orange, sliced thin
In a medium skillet, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool.
New Year’s Eve Extravaganza!
- Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fancy Free Cocktail from The Food Hunter’s Guide
- Baked Brie with Cabernet Cranberry Cherry Sauce from The Redhead Baker
- Champagne Yeast Brioche from Pastry Chef Online
- Lobster and Crab Chowder from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Beef Filet Steaks with Homemade Bearnaise Sauce from The Heritage Cook
- Puff Pastry Potato Roses from Mother Would Know
- Yuzu Cheesecake from Spice Roots
- Chocolate Orange Stout Cake with Orange Frosting from Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)