Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Today was my Uncle Dave's birthday and as we were visiting my parents yesterday, we decided we wanted to make him a cake. As we know he is something of a beer lover, Bailey suggested I make the good old Chocolate Guinnes Cake by Nigella Lawson.

Despite the fact that I completely hate Nigella Lawson and have a theory that she doesn't actually exist, I begrudgingly read through her (frankly rather poorly written) recipe, tootled off to the shop and set about baking the almighty Guinness cake.

It has been a number of years since I baked anything in the Morris kitchen and it was very enjoyable indeed. Roy was cooking up a French onion soup at the same time but was very helpful and helped me line my cake tin.

He was also very enthusiastic about the various smells and tasting the cake batter, which was almost like having my own personal kitchen cheerleader.

Bailey was also very helpful, seeing as he had actually made the cake before and gave me lots of advice here and there, while enjoying the remaining cans of Guinness that weren't going to be added to the cake.

We ate the cake this morning following my Uncle Dave's birthday breakfast and it went down a real storm. It somehow led to a decision by my mum that she is going to move to Barcelona and open a Tea Room, which means it must have been good.

Roy particularly loved the cake and said it was "light, exquisite, the richness of the chocolate offset by the bitterness of the Guinness."

The cake turned out really lovely and moist and, Bailey said, much better than the time he made it. I think this was thanks in no small part to my decision to substitute the majority of the caster sugar from the original recipe for brown sugar to give it a smoother, gooier texture. Take that Nigella, if that is in fact your name.

250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter
75g cocoa
150g caster sugar
250g brown sugar
142ml sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 and a half tespoons bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
250g cream cheese
120g icing sugar
100ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line a large cake tin. If you have Roy Morris around, he is particularly good at this. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan over a low heat and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt.

Whisk the cocoa and sugar into the mix in the saucepan until nice and smooth.

Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl before adding them to the saucepan too.

Sift the flour and add this to the mix gradually. It's quite difficult to stir the whisk but stick at it until all the flour has been combined and there are no lumps.

Once that's all mixed in, finally add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well.

Pour the cake mix into the lined cake tin and put into the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, until a knife comes out completely clean.

While the cake's in the oven you can whip up the icing. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and whip it up a bit before adding the icing sugar and cream. Mix well until there are no lumps.

I decided to leave the icing in the fridge overnight to make sure the cake was completely cool before I began to ice it and this worked out pretty well.

Pile all the icing on top of the cake and spread it around evenly until it looks kind of like a pint of Guinness. Be careful not to go over the edges.

Very tasty, even when eaten at breakfast time!

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