I found my original inspiration for caramel sauce in a recipe by Lindsey Farr. But I've altered it.
2 cups sugar
1 TBSP salt
1 1/2 cups butter
8 oz Irish cream
Directions: pour the sugar into a pan and melt over medium heat. stir as frequently as needed. Once it all melts and turns caramel colored, add the butter and stir often until butter melts. Whisk in the irish cream and salt. Remove from heat. Allow to cool.
With the caramel sauce out of the way, bake the cake. I found the best recipe to use at Epicurious reprint of a Bon Appetite recipe. This one I used almost unchanged save for ignoring the specifications for chocolate icing.
2 cups butter + additional butter for greasing cake pans
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups flour
4 cups sugar
1 TBSP baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the stout and butter in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until all butter is melted and mixture comes to a slow boil. Whisk in cocoa powder. Remove from heat.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl.
Use a mixer to beat together the eggs and sour cream. Slowly pour in the cocoa/stout mixture. Combine with flour and sugar mixture.
Split into three greased 8 inch cake pans that are at least two inches tall.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until done. Transfer to rack. Allow to cool for fifteen minutes or so. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Again, I leaned on Lindsey Farr to get me started.
1 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 TBSP Irish cream
Cream the butter, preferably with an electric mixer. Add in the sour cream and sugar. Continue to cream. Slowly add in the Irish cream. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Once the cakes are completely cool, stack them using a generous portion of the salted caramel sauce to help them stick together. Then cover the cake with the icing. If there is icing left over, you applied an insufficiently think coating. Apply more.
The last step is to take the cake to work to feed to your cow-orkers. This can be done via bicycle with some planning.
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