Thursday, 18 April 2013

Chocolate and Guinness cake

Today was the birthday of my daughter's teacher and, as Mme S is a complete chocoholic, I was keen to try out a new chocolate cake recipe: I was looking for something less brownie-ish than my usual one ("A tale of two cakes"), something more cake-y, yet also something - more "manly/bloke-y"... Then I remembered that my friend Emma had sent me a Nigella Lawson recipe which she was raving about - and which sounded really unusual: I've made beetroot and chocolate cake before - but with beer? But then, while I was going through my other cookbooks, I came across EXACTLY the same recipe in one of my favourite books of last year (Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery)! So I figured that three great cooks can't be wrong - and have now added this truly wonderful concoction to my repertoire (and my husband declared this one "another winner" too*):

250ml Guinness
250g butter
80g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
140 ml sour cream (or buttermilk or full-fat milk with a dash of lemon juice)
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180° (160° fan oven), and butter and line a 20cm square cake tin.
Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter has melted.
Whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the mixture.
Finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
Bake for ca 45 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

*Oh and if you wondered how my husband and I were able to actually taste this chocolaty wonder: well would you believe it but a small piece was accidently knocked off from the bottom - oops there went another teensie chunk - and another... clumsy us!

And Mme S liked his cake so much that she squirelled it away tout suite and was planning to smuggle it straight home after school (thereby setting a VERY bad example for her pupils/other teachers in terms of (not) sharing...)

The original recipe(s) use a springform tin. If you want to switch one for the other, always use a SQUARE tin which is 2-3cm SMALLER than a round one (or, of course, a ROUND one which is 2-3cm LARGER...)

And both Nigella and the HB use cream cheese frosting as well - but I thought the cake was pretty enough "au naturel" - especially with my daughter's lovely decorations!

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