St. Patrick’s Cake – Guinness and Chocolate
What else could I make for the Seniors Lunch Club in St. Patrick’s week than a Guinness Cake? I was a bit wary, having only ever put beer in fruit cakes before, but it turned out utterly gorgeous – deep black sponge with a really good bitter tang of chocolate, very slightly emphasised by the beery background. Not a strong taste of Guinness or alcohol but a very pleasant addition. I topped it with a creamy chocolately Guinness foamy icing, which seemed to match very well indeed.
The theme for the Seniors Lunch Club discussion was Ireland. We asked the members where they would like to go in Ireland if they could be magically transported: to kiss the Blarney Stone, to go on the Guinness Tour, to visit the theatres in Dublin, to see the Giant’s Causeway and to see the statue of Molly Malone were all wishes we’d love to grant. Then we each read out a limerick and had a good giggle at the Young Lady from Uttoxeter, the Young Man from Leeds, the Old Man with a Beard and many other odd characters.
Simply Recipes and Nigella Lawson and many other people have recipes for Guinness cakes. I have adapted and blended from several sources as I needed a square cake, easy to portion and easy to transport around on my Lunch Club delivery round, and without squidgy middle icing. This one fits the bill – and if you make it, do let me know.
Makes 16 squares Timings: 10 minutes preparation for the cake, 1 hour cooking, 1 hour cooling. Icing – about 20 minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 170°C and grease and line a 22cm square cake tin.
In a medium pan, melt the butter with the Guinness. Warm just enough to melt and take off the heat. Add the sugar and the cocoa powder and beat with a small whisk to blend all the powdery bits into the liquid.
Mix the eggs and the yoghurt together, beating with a fork, and add to the butter/Guinness mix. If using vanilla essence, add this to the pan also.
Sieve the flour and bicarb into a larger bowl and add the liquid ingredients. I added them into the mixer bowl with the motor running slowly and it gave a nice fluffy gooey batter. Pour this batter into your cake tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour and until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack. When you remove the cake from the tin, be careful, it is more tender than some other sponges and might crack – so put a rack over the tin as you invert it.
Cool the cake completely before icing it.
To make the icing:
Reduce the Guinness by about half by boiling in a small pan, leave to cool slightly.
Beat the butter with the icing sugar and the coffee essence until fluffy and add the double cream, it will give you a coffee-coloured buttercream.
Now put the chocolate into the warm Guinness and stir thoroughly to melt the chocolate completely – you will need to stir and let the mixture cool.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the buttercream icing with the motor running slowly to whisk the chocolate and buttercream together. You will get a light fluffy buttery mousse texture.
Spread the mousse icing generously over the top of the cake and leave in a cool place to set – preferably in the fridge. The mousse will soften once you get the cake out of the fridge so keep it in there until nearly time to use it.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.