For the March issue of Grow Northwest, I offered to write a cooking piece on Irish food. I cleverly sidestepped corned beef and cabbage and soda bread, and instead used it as an excuse to make a really fabulous Guinness-braised pot roast and a lovely batch of buttermilk colcannon. I also made cake.
From my research (and my parents’ experience), the real Irish version of Guinness cake is a fruity, spiced teatime sort of thing, rather than a sweet dessert. I remembered Jon making a chocolate Guinness ice cream from David Lebovitz’s ice cream book, and wanted to find a good recipe for chocolate stout cake – I eventually found it in Nigella Lawson’s Feast. And what a cake! We’ve made it twice now, and I think it’ll be in regular rotation in our house. It’s chocolatey but not too sweet, dense and moist, and keeps perfectly, wrapped on the counter, for up to a week. I think it might freeze well but so far we haven’t had enough leftover to try it. It’s very good eaten plain, but a dollop of cream cheese frosting is extremely nice.
I had meant to get this post up before Saint Patrick’s Day, but if, like me, you still have a lot of Guinness left in the fridge, this is the perfect thing to use it for. And even though you can find the recipe in my original article, I’m reprinting it here, because I think everyone should make this cake. A lot.
Guinness Chocolate Cake
from Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson
- 1 cup Guinness stout
- 10 Tbsp butter (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp)
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 ½ tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
Heat the Guinness and butter together in a large saucepan until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder.
Whisk the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together in another bowl and add them to the pan. Add the flour and baking soda and whisk everything until smooth. Pour into the prepared springform and bake for about an hour, until the cake has set and doesn’t seem too jiggly. Let cool before removing the springform (if you unmold it too soon it may fall apart, as it’s very moist).
Serve in wedges with whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, or all by itself. Could easily be made a day ahead of time – wrap in plastic, store at room temperature, and frost just before serving.