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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Root Beer Float Cake

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My mom loves root beer floats. She also loves chocolate. This cake manages to combine them both, which is why I knew it would be the perfect cake for my mom's birthday this year. Much as I love going crazy and making elaborate layer cakes, I was relieved that this one was a simple bundt cake--no mixer was even required!
Michelle of Brown-Eyed Baker, where I got the recipe from, said the root beer flavor which intensify over time, so I made it a day ahead of time. Unfortunately we couldn't detect a whole lot of root beer in the cake. It was moist, practically melting in our mouths, and full of intense chocolate flavor, making it an overall success--just not necessary deserving of the root beer title. Next time I'll try adding some root beer extract for an extra punch. The frosting, though?! WHOA. Quite possibly my favorite chocolate frosting ever, or at least right up there with this hot chocolate buttercream! I will absolutely be using this frosting again!

If you make this cake, let me know what root beer you use! I used A&W but maybe another flavor would've come through better. If you're just looking for a fantastic chocolate cake, use any old rootbeer (must be regular, not diet!) and enjoy!

One Year Ago: Black Bean and Walnut Salad
Two Years Ago: Magic Cookie Bars
Three Years Ago: Homemade Granola Bars

Root Beer Float Cake
from Brown Eyed Baker, originally adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

for the cake-
-2 cups regular root beer
-1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder)
-1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 eggs

for the frosting-
-2 oz. dark chocolate, melted & cooled slightly
-1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 cup root beer
-2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (again, used Ghirardelli)
-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325F (300F if using a dark, nonstick pan). Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray (or butter and flour) and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Whisk in sugars until dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten. Whisk them into the cocoa mixture, mixing to combine. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture, stirring until flour is folded in (no streaks, but batter might be slightly lumpy). Be careful not to overbeat.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before running a knife around the edges of the cake and turning the cake out onto the rack.
5. To make the frosting, put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until the frosting is shiny (can also be made with an electric mixer). Spread the frosting over the cooled cake with a spatula and allow the frosting to set before serving. Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container.