St Patrick`s Day is Friday March 17 and while the day marks a religious and cultural commemoration I believe there is always room for dessert.
That is why I created this easy, rich and dense chocolate Guinness cake with buttercream for St Patrick`s Day. This is a dark, not overly sweet cake that is perfect year-round, not just on religious holidays. It really is so easy to bake. The most important thing is ensuring it retains its denseness – you will need to watch the cooking time carefully. Overcooking the chocolate Guinness cake will result in a loss of denseness, which is central to the amazing taste of this cake.
The cake does not taste like stout – rather, the addition of Guinness adds a complexity to the flavour that marries so well with dark chocolate.
As always, the better the chocolate you use, the better the result of the cake. Using a compound chocolate will give you substandard cake where a bitter dark chocolate provides a lush, luxurious taste.
The buttercream is not strictly necessary – if you don`t feel like washing up another bowl feel free to dust the cake with sifted icing sugar.
This buttercream recipe is a simple icing / frosting recipe to keep up your sleeve to decorate cakes or cupcakes. Feel free to add a dash of b\vanilla bean paste if the mood strikes.
250 grams dark chocolate, chopped
200 grams butter
3/4 cups caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
¾ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup Guinness
LET`S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C degrees and grease and line a 20cm square deep baking tin with non-stick baking paper, leaving 3cm overhang.
Sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
Place chocolate and butter in a medium glass or ceramic bowl. Find a saucepan where the bowl will snugly nestle on the top and fill the pan with half a cup of water. Place bowl on top of pan and bring to a simmer, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Stir until the mixture is 80 per cent melted and incorporated then turn off the heat – the residual heat will melt the rest. Set aside to cool for five minutes.
Beat in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, eggs – one at a time – and stir until smooth and combined.
Stir in the beer and vanilla, then sift over the flour mixture and beat in, scraping sides of the bowl with a spatula several times.
Pour into the pan and bake for 35 minutes – the top should be firm and a skewer inserted should not have any wet batter sticking to it.
Cool in tin; when cold turn onto wire rack and decorate with buttercream.
125 grams unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
¾ cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment until pale – about five minutes.
Sift over the icing sugar, then add the milk, one tablespoon at a time. You may not need it all.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times with a spatula.
When fully incorporated use a palette knife to spread over the top.