You don’t have to be a huge fan of chocolate or Guinness to enjoy this Chocolate Guinness Cake. These two ingredients may seem like an odd pairing at first, but they have a lot of deep, dark, powerful flavour notes in common. Allowing them to combine into one kick-ass cake, that is perfect for grown-up chocolate lovers.

Chocolate cakes, more often than not, don’t have the depth of flavour, or richness, that we would desire from our chocolate sponge. But not this cake! The addition of Guinness and “hazelnut” browned butter, gives this cake a deeper, richer, fuller and nuttier flavour. This, along with the brown sugar and soured cream, keep this cake in the perfect balance of “not too” sweet. Of course, if you preferred your cake a little sweeter, you need only replace the brown sugar for caster sugar.

There’s also no need to add syrup to this sponge, as the Guinness helps develop the texture of this cake; making it dense and unbelievably moist, without making it heavy or mushy.

All of this delicious Guinness cake is then topped up with a little Irish Whiskey Mascarpone icing, just to lift that deep, rich sponge. But feel free to top it with a ganache, butter icing, or just leave it naked. It is pretty damn good all on its own.

I would seriously recommend treating yourself to a little cheeky half of your favourite stout or porter beer, when eating this cake! But if that’s not you thing, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a shot of Baileys over the top certainly wouldn’t hurt.

— Al Brady


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INGREDIENTS

For the icing;
250g icing sugar
500g mascapone 
50ml irish whiskey
50g chocolate – melted

For the cake;
250ml guinness
250g unsalted butter – browned
75g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
200g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
160g soured cream
280g plain flour
13g bicarbonate of soda


METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 9inch springform tin with silicone paper.

To make the cake;
Place the butter into a medium saucepan and heat until it has browned to a light golden “beurre noisette”. Leave to cool. Place the caster sugar, light brown sugar, cocoa powder, brown butter and Guinness into a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Beat in the soured cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Finally sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then whisk this into the cake batter as well until nice and smooth.

Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. It is a very moist cake which will set more as it cools, if possible make the cake the day before serving and leave to cool completely. Check with a skewer in the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is cooked through, any raw mixture on the skewer means the cake needs longer cooking.

To make the icing:
Add the mascarpone into a large mixing bowl, gradually add the icing sugar and mix well until combined. Finally mix in 50ml of whisky and mix thoroughly until smooth.

Once the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin. Place the cake onto a serving plate and pipe or spread the icing generously over the top. Finish the cake with a little drizzle of melted chocolate over the top of the icing and leave to cool.

Grab a fork, take yourself a slice, the sit back and enjoy that rich, moist, velvety cake.


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To Fill Or Not To Fill?

We like to keep this cake in one piece and just cover the top with icing. This cake is so moist there is really no need to fill the inside. That being said; we are also fully in support of getting as much icing in, on and around that cake, as is physically possible. So if you feel the need to cut and fill your cake, you go to town. Just be careful cutting and moving you cake, as it will be delicate and we do not want it falling apart on you.

Soured Cream Substitutions

We’ve use soured cream in this recipe, it not only helps activate the bicarbonate of soda, it provides extra moisture to the sponge as well. It also works with the Guinness to bring out this fantastic tangy flavour, while cutting through the sweetness of the chocolate. Working all together to bring intense flavour and balance to this glorious cake.

But it is not the end of the world if you don’t have (or can’t get) soured cream. You can substitute yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, creme fraiche or buttermilk without any problems. The flavour will of course differ slightly and who knows you might find something you like a lot more than soured cream.