Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale Cake with Cocoa Dots


Courtesy of Brett Anderson and Andrea VanScoy
Photography by Jody Horton

* The darker the chocolate, the more syrup is required.

Fairly difficult

Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale Cake with Cocoa Dots


For 8 Person(s)


  • 1 The Cake
  • 1 1/3 Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale
  • 12 ounces butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cups Dutch process cocoa, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa, sifted
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons heaping, salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cups White Mountain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons White Mountain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 cups chocolate chips
  • Modeling Chocolate
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate*
  • 1/4 cups light organic corn or rice syrup
  • Cream Cheese Icing
  • 12 ounces full-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups butter
  • 6 cups well sifted powdered sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Drop of flavoring to taste (peppermint or almond) if desired

Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale Cake with Cocoa Dots Directions

  1. To make the cake, combine the beer, butter and sugar in the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer five minutes, then remove from heat and add the cocoa powder. Let this mixture cool until it feels similar in temperature to a hot, delicious, chocolaty bath.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  3. Grease two 8” or 9” baking pans and swirl a handful of flour into each, giving them a thin but even coating. Or use cocoa powder.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs together until blended.
  5. Whisk the cooled beer mixture into the egg mixture.
  6. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt, and, with a clean hand, mix them together briefly. 
  7. Sift about a quarter of the flour mixture into the wet mixture at a time, whisking briefly between each addition.
  8. Pour half of the completed batter into each pan, and sprinkle half the chocolate chips on top of each cake. If the chips do not sink, tap them slightly with the whisk until they dip below the surface of the batter.
  9. Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the oven. The cakes are done when they begin pulling away from the edges of the pans and a toothpick inserted in their middles comes out clean.
  10. To make the modeling chocolate, melt chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth.
  11. Stir in syrup until combined.
  12. Refrigerate in a freezer bag or in a bowl lined with parchment, covered and secured with a rubber band.
  13. After the molding chocolate has set, cut, knead and roll out pieces using cocoa powder or cooking spray on a surface to prevent sticking. Place dough between pieces of parchment and roll out into thin sheets of chocolate for cutting decorative shapes such as dots and ribbons.
  14. To make the cream cheese icing, whisk cream cheese and butter together in a mixer on high until smooth.
  15. Scrape the bowl and whisk. Keep mixing on low.
  16. Add well-sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time while mixing, scraping the bowl frequently.
  17. Add salt and sugar to taste and mix until combined.
  18. To frost the cake, center a cake layer on the dollop and secure.
  19. Drop another dollop of icing on the cake and spread with metal spatula until covered. Press down, moving slowly and firmly so the icing really adheres to the cake. Scrape the knife on the side of an empty bowl and wipe it with a cloth from time to time, to keep from getting crumbs in your frosting.
  20. Continue with layers and on top.
  21. To frost the sides: Continue adding to top. Use the fridge to make sure the frosting is not to cold (stiff) or too runny (loose), to be controllable. With each dollop, as you reach the edge, the frosting moves slowly over the side of the cake. As it begins to fall, turn the spatula handle to the ceiling and press the frosting around the sides and between the layers of the cake. You will turn the cake in one direction while pressing the knife in the opposite direction. At some point it will seem natural to scrape and clean your knife and grab a knife-full of frosting and pull/push it around the cake. Pull the knife across the top edge so that it is pretty square. The desired effect is a flat sealant layer of frosting called a “crumb coat.” It is ok if you can see the image of the cake through this sheer layer.
  22. Refrigerate the cake and clean you kitchen.
  23. Pull the cake out and repeat step four until you can’t see the cake through the frosting. (It can help to refrigerate again.) Keep your knife clean and hot by dipping in a glass of hot water and drying it on a clean cloth. Use the warm moisture and use broad endless strokes to create the cleanest, smoothest surface possible. Avoid getting the cake actually wet.
  24. Remove dots and ribbon from the fridge and apply. Use whimsy.
  25. Clean the base.
  26. Refrigerate cake. Allow it to set up well. Avoid letting it sit at room temperature for endless hours on the big day.

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