The chocolate tones in Maui Coconut Porter, the winning brew in Beer Madness 2012, inspired Palena pastry chef and panel judge Agnes Chin to come up with a rich, dense cake. She uses the beer to steep steel-cut oats, which make for an unusual, hearty texture.
She'll be serving it at the restaurant this week with cacao nib ice cream and espresso caramel sauce; Chin suggests serving the cake at home with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Make Ahead: The cake is best served a day after it has been made; that gives the flavors a chance to meld.
Servings: 12 - 16
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
- 6 ounces flour (heaping 1 cup), plus more for the pan
- 3 ounces steel-cut oats (1/2 cup; do not use quick-cooking or instant)
- 16 ounces (from 2 cans) maui coconut porter
- 2 ounces shredded unsweetened coconut (heaping 1 cup)
- 1/2 ounce unsweetened cocoa powder (1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces packed light brown sugar (scant 1 1/4 cups)
- 6 ounces granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 2 ounces honey (3 tablespoons)
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange (1 teaspoon)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use butter to grease the inside of a 9-inch springform pan, then coat it with flour, shaking off any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
Combine the oats and 12 ounces (1 can) of the beer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the oats are al dente. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the coconut.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
Combine the butter, sugars, honey and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed until well incorporated. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Add the coffee and vanilla extracts.
Working in increments, alternately add the sifted flour mixture and the remaining beer, starting and ending with the sifted mixture.
Fold in the oat-coconut mixture by hand just until well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Bake on the rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool to room temperature on cooling rack.
Dust the top lightly with confectioners' sugar before serving.
From Chin, pastry chef at Palena in Cleveland Park.
Tested by Becky Krystal.
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