Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best chocolate cake

Let me take you back about about two years. I fiound a recipe for Guinness chocolate cake which I wanted to make for my work's St. Paddy's Day party. I tried it and it was fab. But heavy and the next time around I borrowed a friend's mini muffin tin and made Guinness chocolate two-bite brownies. Deadly. They've been a hit ever since and I've bought my own mini muffin tin and all. The original recipe called for a cream cheese frosting but I thought it'd be too heavy so I made a ganache instead using chocolate and cream. This was especially good for dipping the mini cupcakes into and made for an easy finishing touch. You can't really taste the Guinness but it makes for a rich chocolate cake batter. You can also add a touch of coffee to the ganache for extra richness.

The whole process takes a while and has a few steps but it'll be the best cake batter you've ever licked off your spatula!

Here's the original recipe (posted on my facebook profile Thursday, March 15, 2007):

Cake Ingredients

* butter for pan
* 1 cup Guinness Stout (and one for me)
* 10 tbsp unsalted butter
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 2 cups superfine sugar
* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 2 large eggs
* 1 tbsp vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Topping Ingredients
* 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
* 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
* 1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.
3. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
4. Topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix icing sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable. Also add a little cocoa powder to give the icing the murky look of the Guinness frothy. (Perhaps a bit more icing sugar, it seemed a bit too spreadable to me.)
5. Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

Makes one 9-inch cake, 12 servings (or a heck of a lot of two-bite mini cupcakes!!)

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