You probably already know that Anheuser-Busch has made their very own sorghum beer - Redbridge - which is widely available (if your favorite establishments do not carry it yet, tell them to order it from their distributor!). This beer truly tastes like it comes from the Budweiser family; during the Superbowl, for example, I was grateful to have the perfect football-watching beer at my fingertips again!
For this cake recipe though, I needed something with more body and a richer taste. I explored the options at my favorite little specialty shop in historic Ellicott City, Maryland - Carpe Vinum. If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by and have a chat with the proprietor, John. He is a most fascinating man and will order with a smile whatever you desire in the realm of wines and beers.
Ok, back to the beer. So, John and I chatted and I decided to try two different beers for my cake experiments: Hambleton Ales' "Toleration Ale" (http://www.hambletonales.co.uk/gfa.htm) out of the UK, and Green's Endeavour Dubbel Dark (http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/) from Belgium. The website of Green's US distributor (http://www.merchantduvin.com/pages/5_breweries/greens.html) has some useful trivia on the grains Green's uses in its vegan beer -- a drink which boasts no wheat, barley, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya beans, milk, lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, sulphur dioxide or sulfites (please stop me if I ever do drink a beverage containing crustaceans - yuck!). I'll admit that I was so grateful to have gluten-free beer options that I bought one of all he had in the store, but I settled on these two for making my cakes (I did my own beer taste test later...).
The Toleration Ale cake was somewhat lighter, but no less delicious in its own way. The Dubbel Dark was indeed that, and probably most mimicked a true Guinness cake. I used two different frostings for my two cakes: one a canned ready-made white gf frosting (I used Pillsbury) and the other a homemade cream cheese frosting. They were both tasty with this cake, so feel free to use what you have available as time and ingredients will allow. Aside from the frosting, I give you substitutions in the recipe to make it milk free and just as yummy - yay!
So go ahead and treat yourself to this wonderfully light, yet sinfully rich gluten-free Chocolate Beer Cake! It will make those 6 more weeks of winter go by much more smoothly...
Gluten-Free Chocolate Beer Cake
1 cup gluten-free ale
8 Tbs. unsalted butter or Earth Balance Shortening
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated cane sugar
¾ cup sour cream or Tofutti Sour Supreme
1 Tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract
2 cups All Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 Tablespoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350F.
(Note- you will need a large saucepan for this recipe, not a mixer and mixing bowl!)
Butter a 9-inch springform tube or springform pan (if using plain springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper).
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla.
Pour the 1-cup beer into a large saucepan (drink the rest!). Add the butter and heat just until melted over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and the sugar until smooth.
Add the egg mixture into saucepan mixture and whisk. Add the flour and baking soda until mixed. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack and remove from the pan when fully cooled.
Frost the top of the cake with a gluten-free cream cheese or white frosting of choice.
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese (can use fat free!)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
½ cup heavy cream (can use half & half, but use less than ½ cup)
Whip the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then slowly stir in the cream to make spread-able consistency.