St Patrick’s Day is long gone, but one does not need a reason to make and enjoy a Chocolate Guinness Cake, I think.
I heard of this amazing combination the first time on TV, watching Come Dine With Me, and I got intrigued right away. I googled it and it turns out there are lots of fans of it out there. I searched the internet a bit, reading various recipes, which more or less did not deviate much from each other, and then decided that the following one, taken straight of the Hummingbird Bakery’s new book Cake Days, seems the most all-rounded one.
Rich, dark and chocolatey, the Guinness gives the cake sponge extra depth and helps to keeps it moist. The Hummingbird Bakery have also matched it with with tangy cream cheese frosting, which goes just perfectly.
Ingredients (Serves 12-14)
For the sponge
250ml (9fl oz) Guinness
250g (9oz) unsalted butter
80g (3oz) cocoa powder
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
140ml (5fl oz) buttermilk
280g (10oz) plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
For the frosting
50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
300g (10½oz) icing sugar
125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
one 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment.
2. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk by hand in a jug or bowl, and then add this to the mixture in the pan.
3. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin on to a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.
5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter and it is fully combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix in a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
6. Place the cooled cake on to a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. The cake can be decorated with a light dusting of cocoa powder.