THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY CLARKSON POTTER.
When gathered with friends around the dinner table, a common question my family loves to ask guests is “If you could meet one person, alive or passed, who would it be?” My answer every time is Martha Stewart. I make a goal list at the beginning of every year and “meeting Martha Stewart” makes the list year after year. I would love nothing more than to have a conversation with her and soak up all of her wisdom. Martha is a creative genius with a successful business empire, someone I have looked up to for years. I love her story, both successes and failures and how she’s continued to remain relevant year after year after year.
Her new book Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection is out now (released October 13th). I had the pleasure of getting to check out the new baking book which includes over 100 cake recipes for all occasions. As I flipped through the book, I couldn’t even count how many cakes I’d like to try. Filled with exciting flavors, must-try designs and everyday favorites with something for everyone, at every skill level.
It was difficult to choose which recipe I wanted to try first but what caught my eye was this Chocolate Pecan Guinness Caramel Cake. “Layers of chocolate stout cake are filled with buttercream, drizzled with salted caramel and chocolate ganache, then tipped with addictively crunchy candied pecans.” How delicious does that sound?! As only Martha can, she guides you through this entire recipe with tips and tricks for cake perfection.
Below you’ll find Martha’s recipe from the new book, along with my step-by-step images for creating your own version of this delicious cake. I can say with confidence, this was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever had in my life! And I’ve indulged in A LOT of cake.
Chocolate Pecan Guinness Caramel Cake
For the Cake:
4 sticks unsalted butter (2 cups), plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
2 cups Guinness or other stout
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream or greek yogurt
For the Candied Pecans:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup (6 oz) whole pecans or pecan pieces
For the Salted Caramel:
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
For the Caramel Buttercream:
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup salted caramel (recipe above)
For the Chocolate Ganache:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature.
Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment; butter parchment. Dust pans with cocoa, tapping out any excess. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring stout and butter to a simmer. Remove from heat; whisk in cocoa until smooth. Let cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream until combined. Add stout mixture and beat on low speed until combined; add flour mixture and beat until combined. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 35-45 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely.
Make the Candied Pecans: Line a rimmed baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium-high; cook, swirling occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is medium amber in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately stir in pecans. Pour onto prepared sheet to cool completely. Transfer pecans to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Make the Salted Caramel: In a small saucepan, heat cream over low. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water; cook over medium-high, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber in color, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; carefully pour in cream (mixture may splatter) and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until a candy thermometer reads 238 F (soft ball stage), about 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a medium bowl; stir in salt. Let cool about 15 minutes, then stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.
Make the Caramel Buttercream: In a heatproof bowl, whisk together sugar and egg whites. Set over (not in) a pot of simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and a thermometer registers 140 F. Remove bowl from heat. With an electric mixer on medium-high, whisk buttercream mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low and add butter, a few tablespoons at a time; continue beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla and caramel.
Make the Chocolate Ganache: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Stir until smooth and shiny, then stir in butter. Let cool 20 minutes.
For assembly: With a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to level; split each cake in half horizontally to form a total of four layers. Place a layer, bottom-side down, on a cake stand. Spread evenly with about 2 cups caramel buttercream. , then sprinkle with some candied pecans. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with a few more candied pecans. Repeat process with remaining cake layers, leaving top layer (bottom-side up) uncovered. For stability, insert a dowel into center of cake, trimmed so that it’s just shorter than the top of cake. Spread ganache over top and sprinkle with remaining candied pecans. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.
Storage Tip: This cake can be done in stages over time, at your convenience: the buttercream and chocolate ganache can be refrigerated, up to 3 days, or frozen, up to 1 month, in an airtight container, with plastic wrap pressed directly on surface. The candied pecans can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks or int he freezer up to 1 month.
I guarantee this cake will impress and delight any cake lover! It’s perfect for birthdays, celebrations, and holidays. I’m excited to try another recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection book. Pick up a copy today, on sale now. You can also get the Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection Decorating Set from iGourmet to have all of the baking essentials at the ready. The contents of the decorating set are all hand-picked by Martha Stewart and her team of food editors. (See branded spatula in previous photo).
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Reprinted from Martha Stewart’s Cake Perfection © 2020 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LP. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing/Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photos by Kelly Clare
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. JENNY COOKIES HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTING, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN AND I ONLY PROMOTE PRODUCTS/COMPANIES I LOVE.