Sunday, March 13, 2016

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

Pin It
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
°C
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
Pin It