Monday, January 14, 2008

Chocolate Guinness Cake

There's been a lot of Guinness in my life lately. That flavorful foamy drink makes regular appearances in our house, though recently wheat beer has been making appearances in its stead. My fiance is a Cassidy. Though his family has been in the US for many generations, they celebrate their Irish heritage with great enthusiasm. Last summer we joined 30 of his closest relatives (hey--they're Irish!) to return to the "old sod" for a family vacation. We stayed in a town called Clifden, nestled snuggly in rolling coastal hills. By day we visited the luscious green countryside, and masterfully built abbeys, and by night we visited the local pubs to check out the "craic" (live music).
Ireland is not heralded for its culinary prowess. The food is often bland, featuring meat, potatoes and a vegetable. However, the addition of Guinness can turn even a basic stew into a flavorful experience. Relying on the robust taste of stout is not limited to main dishes. In the following recipe, the flavor of Guinness stout peeks out from behind the rich chocolate cake, complementing it with a slightly bitter note. This cake is very moist and is super-easy to make.
The original recipe is from Feast by Nigella Lawson. I copied this rendition from here.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • butter for pan
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix icing sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
  5. Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

Makes one 9-inch cake, 12 servings.

1 comment:

fran said...

Sounds interesting. I guess the beer
reacts with the baking soda to make the cake rise? I'll have to try this

Your other recipes are tempting too.
And I like your 'folksy' writing style ! Keep up the good work.