Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Amanda was recently telling me how she enjoys reading a certain cooking blog because the author’s writing is so predictable.  Almost every post begins with him stating how he has been wanting to try a certain recipe and then giving the reason he has finally made it.  Taking a cue from him…

I came across this recipe for a Guinness Chocolate Cake a few weeks ago, and have been looking for a reason to try it.  This weekend Amanda’s sister, Jessica, was visiting from North Carolina, and she had just recently turned 30.  What better way to celebrate her visit and her 30th birthday than with cake and beer – together at last!
Though the cake was good, it is not my favorite chocolate cake.  My heart still belongs to a vegan chocolate, zucchini cake (I’ll share that recipe some other time).   I would still recommend trying it, and would love to hear what other people think.  Next time I plan to use a darker chocolate like Dutch process cocoa, which was recommended by the recipe, and to cook the cake five minutes less.  Since I made the cake in two layers, unlike the recipe, I adjusted the cooking time to 40 minutes.  I recommend 30-35 minutes.
 The frosting was simple and delicious, and perfect to top with berries.

Guinness Chocolate Cake
By Nigella Lawson

Cake Ingredients:
1 c. and 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 c. Guinness
¾ c. Dutch process cocoa, sifted
2  and 1/4 c. all purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c.  sugar
2 medium eggs
2/3 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. good quality vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
1 and 1/3 c. cream cheese
1 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
 2/3 c. cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Add butter, cocoa and Guinness to a saucepan. Warm over a medium heat and stir until melted. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly.

2. Add flour, baking soda and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the Guinness/cocoa/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined. The batter should be thick and dark chocolate in color.

3. Pour into a greased and lined 10″ angel food pan (or another straight-sided tube pan) and cook in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake.*Note: This cake is very moist inside, so use your judgment regarding the skewer test. Do not leave in the oven until the cake has totally dried out — cook long enough so there is no uncooked cake on the skewer but there may be a few moist crumbs sticking to it after an hour of cooking. 

4. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the cake tin and placing on a wire wrack to cool completely.

Frosting Instructions
1. Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer and beat on a low-medium speed using a whisk attachment (I find a paddle attachment tends to over-beat the cheese). Whisk until the cheese is smooth and there are no big lumps remaining.

2. Gradually, using a large spoon, add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat gently to combine. After 2 to 3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape any excess frosting from the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free.

3. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing to fully combine.

4. Place cooled cake on a cake stand and add the frosting, spreading out just to the edge without going over the side (never go over the sides of the cake) until the cake resembles a pint of the creamy black stuff! The idea is to capture the essence and simplicity of a pint of Guinness.

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