1–2 bottles of stout, for steaming (we used Sam Adams Chocolate Bock)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 290 degrees.
Melt the chocolate over low heat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the milk and vanilla, mixing well.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the egg mixture to the sugar and butter and mix to combine. Then add the flour mixture and mix again. With the mixer running, slowly add the melted chocolate to the mixing bowl – mix until smooth and completely combined.
Transfer the pudding mixture to a 2-quart oven-proof baking or casserole dish. (Note: The pudding will expand as you bake it, so the mixture should fill no more than 2/3rds of the baking dish.) Then place the casserole dish into a larger baking pan of about the same depth but with at least ¾ inch of clearance between the inside walls of the larger baking pan and the outside walls of the casserole dish. Pour beer into the space between the pans, halfway up the sides of the casserole dish.
Make a tent over the baking pan with a large piece of foil but close the foil tightly around the edges of the baking pan. (This creates a steam bath inside the foil.) Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (cooking time may vary depending on your baking dish) until the pudding is slightly fudgy.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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