Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Nigella's Guiness and Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
250ml Guinness
250g unsalted butter
75g cocoa
400g caster sugar
1 x 142ml pot sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 1/2teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
FOR THE TOPPING
300g Philadelphia cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125ml double or whipping cream
Serving Size : Makes about 12 slices
 

This cake is magnificent in its damp blackness. I can’t say that you can absolutely taste the stout in it, but there is certainly a resonant, ferrous tang which I happen to love. The best way of describing it is to say that it’s like gingerbread without the spices. There is enough sugar – a certain understatement here – to counter any potential bitterness of the Guinness, and although I’ve eaten versions of this made up like a chocolate sandwich cake, stuffed and slathered in a rich chocolate icing, I think that can take away from its dark majesty. Besides, I wanted to make a cream cheese frosting to echo the pale head that sits on top of a glass of stout. It’s unconventional to add cream but it makes it frothier and lighter which I regard as aesthetically and gastronomically desirable. But it is perfectly acceptable to leave the cake un-iced: in fact, it tastes gorgeous plain.
 
METHOD


1.Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C, and butter and line a 23cm springform tin.
2.Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
3.Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
4.When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
5.Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.


This cake tasted DELICIOUS and so moist! I will definetly be making it again. 

On the Saturday night I went out to meet the girls and Nathan had some of the Rugby boys round for drinks. When I returned there was a note under, what remained of the cake, from one of the younger rugby boys- who had apprently had 2-3 slices telling me that my cake was '****ing tidy'- so I guess he liked it! ;-)

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