I tend to like adventurous ingredients and when I hopped over to Smitten Kitchen for a dessert recipe and saw that this cake had beer in it, well my decision was made right then and there. Coincidentally, I”m not a fan of beer and can count on 1 hand the number of beers I’ve consumed in my lifetime, but one person who left a comment at Smitten Kitchen described the nutty flavor the stout added to the cake and I wanted in.
In the case of a “secret” ingredient, I don’t offer up that ingredient right away. I know a few people that wouldn’t touch something that they thought had something “strange” in it. However, Marc took great pleasure in telling everyone that this cake had beer in it. Of course, he mentioned I used Guiness, which is a bit more reassuring than imagining Budweiser in a cake. We brought the cake to a gathering of about 60 and the people that tried it seemed to enjoy it. I personally really loved it and was happy to finally make a cake from scratch that was as moist as cake from a box mix, but had a deeper and more interesting chocolate flavor. Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Do you taste a bit of Guiness? Sure, a bit, but as the commenter said, it just imparts some nuttiness. For the ganache, I substituted instant espresso for instant coffee because I had it on hand and even though I used less, it had a distinct coffee flavor and I was looking to only enhance the chocolate flavor. I’m posting the further altered recipe that I will try next time.