Once I had made my Mini Christmas Puddings I still had half a bottle of stout left. I didn’t want to drink it and it seemed a shame to waste it: what better fate for it than a chocolate cake!
I have long wanted to make a Guinness cake as I love the idea of a very dark, moist chocolate cake set against a sweeter white icing. Just like a pint of Guinness. Only tastier.
This is the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery but I used natural yogurt instead of buttermilk and changed the method slightly. I don’t like to use a mixer to beat in the flour as I once followed their instructions to make their lemon cake and ended up with a really tough, dry cake. As long as you mix the flour in properly, using a wooden spoon or even a whisk, and make sure that there are no large lumps left it should be fine. The recipe said bake for 45 minutes but mine took over an hour. I had to leave the house to pick up my son so set the timer to turn the oven off after an hour and five minutes and when I got back the oven was already off and the cake was (very luckily) just perfect.
This would work as a Christmas dessert with some vanilla ice cream as it is rich without being too sickly, and is also delicious as slice of cake on a winter’s afternoon.
250ml Guinness or stout
250g butter or margarine
80g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
150g natural yogurt, buttermilk or crème fraîche
280g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
Cream Cheese Icing
300g icing sugar
50g butter, softened
125g full fat cream cheese
Cocoa powder for dusting
Grease a 9″ loose based cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
Set the oven to 170°C.
Pour the Guinness into a pan and add the butter. Heat until the butter is melted and remove from the heat.
Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir well.
Mix the eggs, vanilla essence and yogurt together and mix into the cooled liquid in the pan.
Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and add to the ingredients in the pan. Mix well to make sure all the flour is evenly incorporated and there are no lumps.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the sponge is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a while in the tin before turning out onto a wire baking rack.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
Make the icing:
Mix the butter and icing sugar together until it turns into a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is light and fluffy.
Ice the cake when cool.
Decorate with a sprinkling of cocoa powder.