Monday, March 14, 2011

By the Batch - Guinness Chocolate Cake

In honour of St. Patrick's Day and the world's most delicious beer (yes, I'm talking Guinness) I decided that I couldn't resist making Nigella Lawson's Guinness Chocolate Cake for this week's bit of baking. I know I'm a couple of days early but this way you still have time to whip one up yourself!

Ingredients for the Cake:
Butter for pan
1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar (granulated will do just fine as well)
3/8 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

Ingredients for the Frosting:
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners' sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable. Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

According to Sarah:
This cake is amazing and the flavour of the Guinness is mild enough that it won't bother anyone who doesn't like to drink it. It was so easy to make, you mix most of it up on the stove top, and it turned out moist, dense and delicious. The frosting is just the right amount of sweet to compliment the rich chocolate of the cake.

I will say that mine got a bit hard around the edges while the middle fell a bit but I think that's the fault of my springform pan and not of the recipe. I will be watching it more carefully next time as it bakes. Also, don't ignore the part about mixing the lumps out of the sugar - I did and you can totally still see them in my frosting.

We have definitely found a new St. Patrick's Day tradition at our house! Have you tried making this recipe before? Do you want to give it a try now?

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