I found the recipe in the The New York Times in 2004 and it's originally from from Nigella's book FEAST. It's a little like a Caribbean Black Cake without the dried fruit or maybe even a little like gingerbread without all the spices. Sort of dark and mysterious. And the kicker? This cake takes no time at all to make....it’s a single layer and you toss it all together on the stove top (using only one pan!) and dump it in a springform pan. The results are always delicious, moist but not overly dense, with the slight complex undertone of beer. Barely noticeable.
Nigella suggests a fluffy cream cheese icing, intended to resemble the head of a beer and while I think it's a clever idea, I can get the same effect with a frosting that has no cream cheese but some Bailey's Irish cream. Just to add yet another layer of flavor. You don't need to ice it at all if you don't want to 'cause it tastes fabulous plain, but I love the presentation of the cake with the icing.
Guinness Cake is not just for dinner, either. You can serve it with tea, so you have the opportunity to show off your Belleek China, which will enchant your guests with its' shamrock design.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson (reprinted in the New York Times on 12/8/04)
1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar (I have used regular granulated sugar with no ill effects)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform 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 superfine 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.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.
Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
2-3 cups confectioners' sugar
Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the Bailey's and half of the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth. Add the second half of the sugar and beat until smooth.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
"May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends gathered below never fall out."
This is going to be my submission to the Regional Recipes: Ireland event over at Joanne's fabulous blog. Check it out HERE.