I don’t like Guinness. However, I was making some cakes to be auctioned off at a charity raffle, and I was almost certain that someone would like Guinness, and want to eat a gooey chocolate cake that contained it. As it turned out, someone thought the cake was part of the buffet and took a slice before it could be raffled, so we ended up taking this home. And it is one of the nicest cakes I have ever, ever eaten.
The recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days book. If you like baking and don’t have this book, I suggest you pop it on your Christmas list because it is fantastic. Every cake I make from there is a work of art. I’ve made Sticky Toffee Cupcakes, Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes, and now this cake. I cannot wait for an excuse to try more. They are divine. Anyone, enough chat — on with baking!
For the cake
- 250ml Guinness
- 250g unsalted butter
- 80g cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 140ml buttermilk (Or, 130ml milk topped up to 140ml with lemon juice and left for 10 minutes)
- 280g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
- Half a teaspoon of baking powder
For the icing
- 50g soft, unsalted butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 125g full-fat Philadelphia
- cocoa powder to dust
For this recipe, you’ll need a 9inch, spring form cake tin.
Okay. Start by pre-heating the oven to 170C and lining the base of your cake tin with baking parchment.
Then start baking your cake. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan and add the butter. Then gently heat until the butter has melted. It will look absolutely vile.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. The liquid will become thick and dark. It will smell and taste divine. Not that I tasted it. Obviously. Ahem.
In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk. Add this to the mixture in the pan and stir together. Then, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together into a bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment if you’re using the mixer; if not, use an electric whisk. Either way, put it on a low speed and slowly pour in the contents of the pan, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
When fully incorporated, it will look something like this:
It will also be a very, very runny mixture. Don’t worry, this is fine. I panicked but I promise, after you have poured the cake in the tin and baked it for about 45 minutes or so (the sponge should bounce back, a toothpick inserted in the centre will come out clean, your house will smell incredible) it will be a firm, delicious cake. Something like this, in fact…
Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack. When it is completely cool, start to make the icing. Use an electric whisk/paddle attachment of a mixer to mix the butter and icing sugar together until it looks quite sandy and there are no large lumps of butter left. Then add the cream cheese and mix on a slow speed, increasing it until the icing is light and fluffy.
Place the cake onto a plate/cake stand and smear the icing over the top and sides. Give it a generous application — it works beautifully against the intenseness of the cake.
To finish, sprinkle cocoa powder over the top. And voila! Amazing cake!
It looked even nicer when cut into — dense, gooey, moist, amazing cake. It was almost like a brownie consistency rather than cake; it was so, so gorgeous.
Garry clearly enjoyed it.
As did my Dad, who never enjoys cake..
And me? Well, this photo both speaks for itself and is my new favourite photo of me ever.