Chocolate & Guinness cake by Shana Dawn Lewis

Guinness, that super dark, super rich stout. It has a bit of a reputation, like the ‘Marmite effect’; you either love it or loathe it! Personally, I loathe it! In fact, I find it far too bitter. Nah… not nice at all!

But, when mixed with whole milk, condensed milk, vanilla Nourishment (an energy drink brand), mixed spices and vanilla essence, poured over ice or chilled from the fridge, you’ve got yourself a whole different experience going on with your taste buds. Oops, I got a bit carried away there, and now you’re getting two recipes for the price of one… LOL.

Guinness originated in Ireland in the 1700s, however it is very popular among African and Caribbean people too. You’ll often find it either swimming in a cooler of semi-melted ice at a special event; adorning the centre of the table at a wedding reception, or made up as a punch (described above) in the fridge at a party, where it’s only reserved for those “working in the kitchen” and the odd few who get to share the secret that there’s even any in the house. Until, that is, someone who’s had too much of it comes into the kitchen shouting loudly: “Can I have some more of that Guinness punch? It’s sooooo nice, guy!” at which half the people in the kitchen start kissing their teeth, while the other half are saying: “What, you lot got Guinness punch and never said nuffink? Outta order, man!”

But now, Guinness seems to have become another ‘thing’ not just to drink but to be enjoyed, eaten in a cake mixed with dark chocolate, topped with cream cheese buttercream or ganache, sitting on a pretty plate eaten with a fork… Yum!

There I go again, getting carried away with my food descriptions. It’s the creative in me.

But seriously, what has happened to the days when it was the drink older men in flat caps drank in pubs on bar stools, or your dad and his mates drank whilst playing cards or dominoes? Are those days still there and I’ve just grown up, or have they gone for good?  I’m a bit old school, from a different generation, so I still think of Guinness as a man’s drink (don’t judge me, lol). As a cake creator, though, I have to acknowledge that it is also an ingredient – and a very popular one at that – so, with the celebration of Father’s Day fast approaching and my old school mentality firmly in place, I thought a CHOCOLATE & GUINNESS CAKE recipe would be fitting for all the Dads this June.

INGREDIENTS:

100g unsalted butter

75g dark chocolate

200ml Guinness

200g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 large free-range eggs

200g golden caster sugar

Method

  • Cut butter into small chunks and break the chocolate into small pieces. Melt together in a heatproof bowl, sitting over a pan of hot water (bain-marie). Once melted, leave to cool for about 20 mins.
  • Put your oven on to heat at 180ºC /Gas mark 4.
  • Stir the Guinness into the melted chocolate and butter mixture. It may curdle, but this is perfectly normal. Once you mix it with the other ingredients it will sort itself out.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • Put the eggs and sugar into your electric mixing bowl, and whisk until light and fluffy – between 3-5 mins (as a rough guide).
  • Pour the wet chocolate mixture slowly onto the eggs and sugar, with the mixer on a low speed, until completely incorporated.
  • Add the flour in the same way as the wet mixture, until you get a lovely thick runny chocolatey consistency.
  • Pour the mixture into your 7”-deep round cake tin, and bake for 45 mins.
  • Check it has baked through, by poking a knife into the centre. If the knife comes out ‘wet’*, place it back into the oven for a further 6 mins.
  • Once you’ve cooled the cake for 15 mins in the tin, turn it out onto a cooling rack.
  • When cooled right down, serve with either a cream cheese buttercream or milk chocolate ganache and cream.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY (*NB: The centre of this cake can be a little wet (but not overly), as over-baking can make a chocolate cake dry and crumbly.)

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