Imperially moist, rich, and edgy, the cake stands alone, and so does the sauce. The pluck is in Wicked Weed’s bourbon barrel-aged elixir. This dessert uses one bottle cooked down to concentrate the flavors, but not so much that the resulting reduction tastes bitter.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Combine sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa in a medium saucepan; whisk until smooth. Whisk in stout reduction until blended. Place over medium heat; add butter and cook, stirring, until butter melts. Remove from heat.
Whisk together eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth; whisk in baking soda and salt until blended. Scrape stout mixture into bowl and add flour; stir gently with whisk until no lumps of flour remain. Scrape into pan. Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (45–55 minutes). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Stout Toffee Sauce
2 cups sugar
1 cup Wicked Weed Dark Age Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Reduction at
room temperature (recipe below)
½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts. Cover and cook 2 minutes to wash down any sugar crystals clinging to side of pan. Remove lid and continue boiling, without stirring, until sugar is a deep amber color. Remove from heat; add stout reduction, cream, and butter. (Mixture will boil furiously.) Return to heat and cook, stirring with a long-handled wooden spoon, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.
Wicked Weed Dark Age Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Reduction
22 ounces Wicked Weed Dark Age Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Bring stout to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until stout reduces to 2 cups. Let cool completely. Can be stored in a covered jar in refrigerator up to one month.
Crumble a slice of cake in a glass; top with vanilla, chocolate, or coffee ice cream; and dribble in the toffee sauce then top with a nibble of cake. Or cut the warm-ish cake into wedges, add ice cream, and swirl the sauce around and on top.
Pro tip: bake the cake ahead of time and freeze up to a month. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator just as long.
Christine Sykes Lowe and Debby Maugans, Edible Asheville’s recipe editors, are the owners of the media company Farmer & Chef South and the authors of the cookbook Farmer & Chef Asheville. Visit farmerandchefsouth.com.