This is a suitably rich cake with the deep, but not over-powering, flavour of Guinness and the refreshing topping of white chocolate, tangy crème fraîche and cream. Easy to make, it is a cake that demands more than one slice…..or maybe that is just me being greedy!!
This is a cake I have been making for decades and while, of course, it would make a great cake for St Patrick’s Day, it is a cake that can be eaten at any time of the year!
I find this cake is easiest made in a food mixer with the paddle attachment, but I have made it by putting all the ingredients into a food blender, pulsing it for a few moments until combined and then baking it….either way, you get great results.
You get a very batter-like mixture to begin with that can curdle once the Guinness has been added. However, when the chocolate and cocoa powder get beaten in after this and they bring the mixture back together beautifully and you will not get the heavy, dense texture that often happens if a mixture has curdled.
I think this cake needs a generous topping and the topping I have gone for is a cross between a cream and a white chocolate mousse. It is very light textured and yes, wickedly indulgent, but works well with the cake.
The crème fraîche adds a tangyness so that the topping is not too rich.
Purely because I fancied something extra on top, I made some quick chocolate cigars and some mini Guinness jelly cubes. Really not essential, but I do love to tinker when I am making things!
The jelly is simply the rest of the bottle of Guinness with a few tablespoons of sugar, boiled and reduced somewhat. A sheet of gelatine was added and then it was left to set before being cubed and placed on top.
Guinness and chocolate cake – makes one 8″ cake
For the cake:
- 250g very soft unsalted butter
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100g dark chocolate (70% solids), melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten well
- 200ml Guinness, at room temperature
- 40g cocoa powder
- 270g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the topping:
- 250g crème fraîche
- 200g whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
- 50g whipping cream, warmed in the microwave until hand-hot
- 50g icing sugar, sifted
- 150g white chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(1) Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan). Butter an 8″ loose-bottomed cake tin generously and base-line it with greaseproof. Dust a little flour around the insides and tap out the excess: this helps the cake mixture grip the sides as it rises.
(2) Whisk the butter and sugar together on a medium-high setting for about 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy.
(3) Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs, a little at time, with the whisk still on.
(4) Whisk in half of the cocoa powder and half of the chocolate and then whisk in the Guinness a little at a time. Whisk in the rest of the cocoa powder and chocolate.
NB: do not panic if the mixture has curdled when you add the Guinness: it really does not matter as the rest of the chocolate and cocoa help to bring it back together.
(5) Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda over the mixture and fold gently into the mixture.
(6) Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out ready for adding the topping.
(7) For the topping, beat the warmed whipping cream into the chocolate and then fold everything together to give a smooth mixture. Leave to set in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then spoon over the cooled cake.