Chocolate Stout Cake with Fresh Figs
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for the pan
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened (not Dutch process) cocoa powder, divided, plus more for dusting
- 2 cups stout beer (such as oatmeal or chocolate stout)
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 pound fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon plus pinch fine sea salt, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate discs or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Combine beer, 3/4 cup of the butter and remaining 3/4 cup cocoa powder in a medium heavy saucepan and heat over low heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted, about 5 minutes. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter starts to sizzle, add figs and season with pepper and a pinch of the salt. Cook, stirring gently, until figs begin to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and cloves. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla.
While whisking, slowly drizzle egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add flour mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until smooth (don’t overmix), and then stir in chocolate discs.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange figs evenly over batter and top with remaining batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the outer ring and cool completely, about 1 hour. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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