Monday, March 30, 2015

let them eat cake // a recipe

This cake.  It was one of the best I've ever tasted, let alone baked.  Perfect for St. Patrick's Day with its Guinness flair, yet too good to only make one day a year.  It's a dark, moist, and savory cake, almost a meal in itself, and would be a perfect way to celebrate a dad's birthday, Father's Day, or the start of the barbecue season.  Bookmark this one and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.  I love her idea of the cream cheese frosting that represents the frothy head of a freshly poured Guinness beer.  The frosting is to die for, but the cake is so good you could eat it plain. 

for the cake:

1 cup Guinness
8 oz (or two sticks) butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

for the frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar
½ cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and butter a 9" spring form pan.

2.  Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter in slices, and heat until the butter is melted on low heat.  Whisk in the cocoa and sugar and stir until melted.

3.  In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer and pour into your saucepan.  Whisk to combine.  Lastly, whisk in the flour and baking soda.  

4.  Pour the cake batter into your greased pan and bake for 45-an hour.  Leave the cake to cool on a cooling rack.  It is a damp cake and will take awhile to cool.

5.  When the cake is cool, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, and mix with powdered sugar using an electric mixer.  Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency.  Ice the top of the cake so that it resembles the frothy top of a pint of beer.  

This was of course excellent the day I made it, but I was impressed with how long it kept its consistency.  The next day, I popped my slices in the microwave for a few seconds and served it slightly warm.  It was wonderful on its own, but would have been even better with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  


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