I saw this cake several months ago and bookmarked it. I wanted to make it immediately, but I didn't have a reason to (like I need a reason to bake!) and I had other things on my baking list. I wanted to make it using chocolate ale but couldn't find any. I went to World Market and found Pumpkin Ale. I am not a beer drinker of any kind, so I bought this by the bottle, rather than the 6-pack. I think they were about $1.50/bottle. I couldn't really taste the beer in the cake, but then again I didn't taste the beer prior to adding it to the batter so I have no idea what it tastes like. I can tell you the cake was super moist and chocolaty and the creamy topping dressed it up perfectly.
I didn't think there was going to be any cake leftover from Thanksgiving dinner so I made a smaller cake baked in a ramekin for blog/photo purposes then I ate it for breakfast Thanksgiving morning...you know, for blog/photo purposes :-) There happened to be about 6 desserts on our buffet, so I had a couple slices left over. I was able to take pictures of that one too.
Chocolate Guinness Cake from Nigella Lawson For the cake:
- Butter for pan
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/8 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the topping:
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and granulated sugar, and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
For the topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix powdered sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Once cake is completely cooled, ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.
Well, I didn't make it in the food processor, I whisked it by hand in a large glass bowl. I don't think it was a mistake, but I think I should have whipped the cream first, then folded it in the cream cheese/sugar mixture, because it was a little thin and soft. I could not have made it into frothy foam like a beer as the recipe suggests. So in a separate bowl, I whipped the remainder of my cream until it was thick, then I folded it into the other mixture. it was still a little soft, but it was tasty. I refrigerated the rest and served it with berries- mmm!
Also, don't skip the parchment paper step. It will help tremendously when you try to remove the cake from the pan.