Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Whisky Cream Icing

Stop whatever you're doing, and go and make this cake. Now.

Why are you not doing it?

Seriously, do it now. I promise, you will not regret it.

I made this last week for my beloveds birthday and it went down a storm. It is seriously chocolaty, seriously boozy, and seriously impossible not to have a second slice. It's adapted from an adaptation with a few additions of my own - mainly more booze - and some tweaks to the measurements. The addition of the Whiskey was all my own idea...(don't judge me)

(...for those of you thinking 'Yuck. Guinness? In a perfectly good chocolate cake? Seriously, Effie?' well, I promise, you will love it. Most of the Guinness-y taste cooks away and just leaves a slight tang that intensifies the taste of the chocolate and makes the cake beautifully moist but still very light. This is the mack daddy of chocolate cakes. And if the alcohol-y topping is too much for you, just leave out the whiskey and stick with a classic cream cheese frosting.)

Chocolate Guinness Cake with Whiskey Cream Icing

Adapted from Gizzi Erskine's recipe, who adapted it from Nigella's.

250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter, cut into chunks 
120g plain chocolate (70% or more is best) broken into pieces (plus extra for shaving on top - optional)
40g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
100ml greek yoghurt
2 eggs 
1 tbsp vanilla
300g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

300g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
150g icing sugar
150ml whipping cream (or double)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 shots whiskey

Grease and line two 9 inch baking tins. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 for silly fan ovens like mine) 

Put the Guinness and butter in a large saucepan over a medium/low heat and stir. When butter has melted into the booze, whisk in chocolate, cocoa and sugar. When combined, take the pan off the heat. In a small bowl, beat together the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla, then whisk into the beer mixture. Whisk in flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Pour the batter into your two pans. Don't worry - it will be very runny and might even fizz a little! Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Leave to cool completely in the tin because it's a very moist cake and will break easily. 

Frosting: With a whisk, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sifted icing sugar and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whip the cream and vanilla extract until thick and fluffy. Add to the cream cheese mixture with the shots of whiskey and combine until smooth. 

Put about a quarter of the icing in a blob the middle of your bottom layer of cake. Sandwich the cakes together, making sure the icing doesn't come squidging out the sides - you want the sides of the cake to be completely brown. Slather the rest of the icing all over the top of your cake. The cake is so dark and the icing so white, it looks like... you guessed it, a pint of Guinness. 

We served the cake with little shots of Guinness and followed up with a shot of Whiskey. It was a boozy, happy night. Just great.

Another great thing about this cake? It gets better with age. It was delicious on the day of baking, but a day later it had become even fudgier and rich. Store in an airtight container in cool, dry place. Be prepared to hear it calling to you in the middle of the night. Be prepared to get out of bed, creep through the house, open the fridge and sneak a tiny slice, standing in the kitchen in your pyjamas. I'm just warning you.

(Damn, I need to invest in some spring form pans. Getting these babies out of their tins was a saga...)

Because it was a birthday party, I covered it with curls of plain chocolate for a bit of celebratory decoration, but really it doesn't need it. 

(Brilliantly, because my cake tins are quite shallow, I had enough batter left for 3 cupcakes. Waste not, want not...)



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