Monday, 14 March 2016

Mega Chocolate Guinness Cake



On Thursday it's St Patrick’s day! To celebrate, embrace your inner irishness. Instead of dressing up as a leprechaun, why not try baking this simple Chocolate Guinness Cake?

Don't worry if you don't like drinking Guinness - I myself am not a fan of Guinness/stout/beer of any kind. However in this cake the Guinness acts to enhance the chocolatey flavour and makes the cake incredibly moist. 

The cake is topped with a not-too-thick layer of cream cheese frosting, which offsets the rich chocolate sensation of the sponge.

It’s one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve made so far. I can’t take credit for the recipe though – I found it in the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Day’s book, and made only a few adjustments to their recipe.

Makes one 23cm cake

Ingredients:
For the cake:
  • 250ml Guinness (half a bottle)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 400g caster (or granulated) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140ml buttermilk
  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 125g cream cheese
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Method:

1. Heat your oven to 170c/150c fan/gas mark 3. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm round spring form cake tin, and dust the inside with cocoa powder – this will stop the cake sticking. I’ve found that doing this instead of using grease-proof paper gives better results, as you get a perfectly round cake every time.

2. Make the cake. Chop the butter into cubes, and melt in a medium-sized pan with the Guinness.

3. In a large bowl stir together the cocoa powder and sugar. Make a well in the center of the sugar/cocoa and pour in the melted butter/Guinness. Mix until well incorporated.

4. In a jug, beat together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour into the large bowl, and beat into the mixture until smooth.

5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Fold in (stir gently with a spoon or spatula) until no more flour speckles can be seen.

6. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of your oven for around 45 minutes. The cake is done when it is well risen, springs back when lightly touched, and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

7. Whilst the cake is cooking make the cream cheese frosting. Place the butter into a large bowl and use a spoon to cream the butter against the sides of the bowl, until it resembles spread.

8. Add the sieved icing sugar and cream cheese and beat with a whisk until smooth. This is easier to do with an electric whisk. I however used a normal whisk and it still worked great (and was a nice little arm workout).

9. Leave the frosting at room temperature to firm up for at least half an hour.

10. Once cooked, take out of the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes. Take the cake out of the tin and leave to cool fully on the wire rack.

11. Once cooled, spread the frosting on the top of the cake using a palette knife. Spread the frosting so that it slightly drips down the side of the cake.

12. Dust with cocoa powder.
13. Enjoy!


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