Sunday, March 13, 2016

Guinness Chocolate Cake – a piece of this is your only man!

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In true Irish style, Paddy's 'Day' 2016 is set to last 3 days. If you happen to be in Dublin, check out what's on and remember to knock up a quick batch of Guinness Chocolate Cake to keep your energy levels up.

When money's tight and hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt -
A pint of plain is your only man.
(The Workman’s Friend, Brian O’Nolan)
You’ll often see visitors to Dublin with what I call “Guinness face”, poised over a glass of the black stuff, feeling that they must taste the local brew but reluctant to put their lips near something that looks like it might have been scooped from the nearby Liffey.
If you are a Guinness virgin, wait until you are in Ireland to try this beverage. Although there shouldn’t be, there is a world of difference between the flat bitter stuff I’ve been served in bars in the UK or the States and a creamy mellow jar of the stuff in its native land.
Among the many pubs that pull a decent pint of Guinness are: Johnnie Fox’s in the Dublin mountains; Kehoe’s, just off Grafton Street; Davy Byrnes, also just off Grafton Street and a stopping point for James Joyce fans; and one of my favourites, The Stag’s Head, (just off Dame Street) a tavern almost as old as Guinness, and probably as close as you’ll get to a proper traditional Irish pub -  not a shamrock or leprechaun in sight.

If you are unable to make it to the Emerald Isle to paint the town green on Paddy's Day, well then, a piece of this rich dark Guinness Chocolate Cake is your only man. 

For one tray bake (15 generous pieces) or 8 mini cakes you will need...
... to pre-heat the oven to 160
Cake Batter

300g Muscovado sugar (or other dark brown sugar)
280g plain flour
40g cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
250mls sunflower oil (or other flavourless cooking oil)
250mls Guinness (or other stout)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1                    Lightly butter and base-line an 18cm x 26cm (9” x 13”) baking tin.
2                    In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3                    Place the oil, Guinness, beaten eggs and vanilla extract together in a large jug and whisk to combine.
4                    Gradually add the oil mixture to the flour mixture, stirring together with a whisk until no dry mixture remains.
5                    Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and place in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes until well risen. To check if it is done, lightly press the surface of the cake with your finger. If it springs back it’s done. If a small indent remains continue cooking for a further 5 minutes then test again. Alternatively, poke a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean (i.e. no damp batter clinging to it, it’s done). Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
6                    While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  

Cream Cheese Frosting
100g full fat cream cheese
50g butter, at room temperature (i.e. soft)
350g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon Guinness
½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

7       In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. Add one-third of the icing sugar and slowly beat until smoothly blended. Add in the rest of the icing sugar, the Guinness and the vanilla extract and continue beating until light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.  Transfer to the cake using a spatula, or pipe in generous swirls. 

Note:  For the mini cakes shown in the photos, I carefully removed the cooled cake from the tin and stamped out 8 mini cakes using a 6cm (3”) round cutter before piping on swirls of frosting. The scraps of cake can be used for trifle or cake pops.
Sorry Brian, sometimes a cup of tea is your only man!

First published in 2012
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  1. Hester
    They are just gorgeous and I'll bet they would also pair nicely with a pintof plain. Hope all is well in the East.
    Móna x

  2. Thanks Mona, I'm green with envy at your London trip. It sounds like heaven!

  3. These look great, i'll have to try them. I'm new to blogging and was wondering could you help me out? What programme do you use to create your pic colllages? Thanks a mill. Jill

  4. Hi Jill, Welcome to a very rewarding activity!

    I use photoshop for my collage pics, and basically copy and paste the images onto an empty background. You can download a free trial of photoshop. I've heard others rave about Adobe Lightroom which I haven't yet tried - it's also available on free trial. The very best of luck with your blog.

  5. Hi Hester, thanks so much for the info!

  6. These look gorgeous! Perfect for entertaining!

  7. Ireland is on my must visit list, I'll wait for the good stuff. I think that these cupcakes would be a good substitute for a pint. You are making me both hungry and thirsty at the same time. Hope everything is well with you my dear.

  8. This is really amazing, I feel like I'm missing out on the celebration! I definitely will do those muffins over the weekend so I wont feel so ancient by spending Arthur's Day in my fluffy socks :) I;m glad to see you're still baking around, I missed your recipes!
    Best Regards and sending smiles,
    Little Housewife

  9. Gosh I really must get around to visiting Ireland, though after 18 is a much better age ;)
    These mini cakes look so indulgent! :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. I've been to Ireland, but didn't try Guinness while I was there (I do miss the Cokes with lemon slices in them, though!)...Silly me! I think I need to add these to my list of things to bake whenever I have the time!

  11. Hi Hester! Your chocolate cake has Guinness in it? WOW! I love these mini cakes and your icing looks so perfect... Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. What a perfect little mouthful - a must on the menu for the next occasion. Pinned this one - no worries!

  13. These are breathtaking, Hester! I've made a yummy Guinness cake before, but love your minis so much more! Have a fantastic weekend~

  14. These look beautiful, Hester! While I don't drink Guinness, I love using it in baking, especially in chocolate goods! Your icing is perfect!

  15. Gorgeous! Love the size of these. Perfect treat.

  16. Funnily enough - I hate beer but if I do drink a beer I actually go for dark stouts/sweet porters so Guiness is one of the few I'll drink :) I'm a huge fan of using Guiness in recipes - and this chocolate cake looks absolutely delicious.

  17. Oh my goodness, Hester! Those are very tempting. I wouldn't mind having a second bottle oh I mean a second piece of the cake. :) Have a wonderful weekend, Hester!

  18. Mein Gott, this recipe is brilliant!
    Two favorite things put together! I have to make for my man for sure, thanks for recipe!

  19. This looks so good! I made Guinness gingerbread last Christmas and it was wonderful. I know I'd love it in a chocolate cake.

  20. Guinness, Gracious, me, Hester... these look incredibly rich and with a guinness laced frosting (frothing?) it's perfect. Painting the town black? Love your sense of humour! Incredible - I had a guinness and chocolate combination planned soon for macarons. Now you've definitely inspired me to give it a go!

  21. Hester, your mini "Guinness Chocolate Cakes" look so moist and delicious and, of course, they are quite cute (if I may say so) - I love small cakes and mini muffins, they always make for a wonderful presentation. The cakes have such an intensive dark brown color, I would love to have a taste! Wonderful post with great pictures!

  22. I am ABSOLUTELY 100 percent beerlie desserts now :) Talk about adding an awesome depth of flavor! Your little cakes look gorgeous!

    And you're so totally right about Guinness. I remember trying some in Ireland being like 'yeah, i've had loads in Germany so I'm totally manly.' I was blown away. SOOOOO much better

  23. I need to make this for my mother-in-law. She came to Seattle from Dublin in her twenties. She's always looking for something sweet to dunk in her tea. :)

  24. My husband loves Guinness so your Guinness chocolate cake will have him smiling from ear to ear.

  25. i have yet to try desserts with beer! that sounds like a great idea. thanks!

  26. They look absolutely perfect and if I ever visit Ireland I will most definitely try the beer!

  27. Hester, these look so delicious! Guinness is a huge favorite of mine, either to drink, or to bake with. Yum!

  28. Dear Hester. This is one delicious looking cake!! I am looking forward to trying it.
    What an interest history of the Guinness. Thank you for telling it.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  29. I love a good pint of Guinness, especially this time of year. And this cake looks delicious! Would it be wrong to eat this cake with a pint? Hmmmm....

  30. Hi Hester! They look so delicious ... I want to take one from the computer ...
    Los haré este fin de semana con mis hijas.
    Muchas gracias y besos.


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