I think this is what I’ll make for St. Patrick’s Day this year. It’s both delicious and easy to make, which makes it a win-win in my book. Experiment with local chocolate stouts (I’ve used Samual Smith Chocolate Stout with outstanding results) for even richer flavors. America’s Test Kitchen says that cocoa powder by Guittard will yield the best flavor: it’s worth the splurge. Based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson, the cream cheese frosting echos the pale head that sits on top of a glass of stout.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
Yield: One 9-inch cake or 12 servings
Kerrygold butter for pan
1 cup (250ml) Guinness stout (or Samual Smith Chocolate Stout)
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (250 g) unsalted Kerrygold butter
3/4 cup (75g) Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder (available on Amazon)
2 cups (400g) sugar
3/4 cup (150ml) organic sour cream
2 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon Madagascar vanilla extract
2 cups (275g) all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (150g) confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces (300g) organic cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream (or use half cream, half Bailey’s Irish Cream)
FOR THE CAKE
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine Guinness (or chocolate stout) and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and sugar, and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into the sour cream/Guinness mixture and whisk again until smooth. Pour into the buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. To use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness: 200 degrees F in center (Don’t start testing too early and deflate the cake!).
Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
FOR THE FROSTING
Using a food processor or by hand, mix or whisk the confectioners’ sugar to break up lumps. Add softened cream cheese and blend until smooth. A little at a time, add the heavy cream and Bailey’s (if using), and mix until smooth and spreadable.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Apply frosting to top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.
– By volume, a 9″ springform pan is 10 cups. You can make 18-24 cup cakes, instead. More pan sizes, by volume, here.
– The cake is delicious enough without frosting. Sift powdered sugar or a mixture of cocoa powder and powered sugar to decorate.
– This cake is also delicious served with cherries in syrup and baked with halved cherries in the batter.