Celebration. I’m happy to say that this is the theme in my life at the moment, 2018 seems to be working out rather well (fingers & toes crossed). Don’t get too excited though as no, there’s still no book deal or promise of opening up the Marmalade Teapot tea rooms just yet but I’m glad to say that I’m finally reaping the rewards of my hard work & at age 28, I can just about pretend to have now established some sort of career. Granted it’s not a baking career but it does come with plenty of challenge & a few extra pennies that will certainly go a long way. Obviously the first thing I did was buy lipstick & book a holiday (what else is money for?).
Another sweet & certainly unexpected surprise is the addition of someone new into my life. This lucky baker has met a very kind & caring character who’s nothing but a good influence (plus he’s a foodie – score!!). In just a few short months we’ve shared many laughs, adventures & dishes!
It would appear that my life is back on track & I’m in a very happy & content place right now, so (stupid question) how do I celebrate my new-found luck? Cake of course.
When it comes to a celebration, generally there are a few thing’s that immediately spring to mind… alcohol, chocolate & someone to share the celebrations with. With that in mind, I set about to make a cake that perfectly embodies the comfort & joy of these celebratory ingredients. A cake that is almost black in colour & who’s unmistakable chocolatey scent compels you to indulge… chocolate Guinness cake.
Guinness, a thoroughly Irish drink which even brandishes a harp as it’s logo, is a stout (or dark beer for us non-beer aficionados), that is made using roasted barley which gives it its characteristic dark colour & malty, tangy flavour. It has been in production since 1725 & remains the best-selling drink in Ireland. This is why you will often see it unnecessarily added to culinary dishes to fabricate an Irish authenticity. Personally I feel it’s purely best suited to one of three things.. drinking, steak pie & chocolate cake.
Guinness & chocolate is a truly marvelous pairing, the bitterness of Guinness really brings out the flavour of the chocolate. Combining these components in a cake really adds an extra dimension, producing the most magnificent dark & damp sponge with an undeniable earthy, well-rounded tang.
This is a very rich cake, one slice is often more than enough. Being a little bit of Irish & having drank many an alcoholic beverage in the past, I’m pleased to say that this cake received a seal of approval from the new adventurer in my life. Personally, I take much pleasure in simply appreciating the squidginess & inhaling the overwhelming scent of chocolate conjured with every slicing. This cake keeps really well & needs nothing more added than a simple dusting of icing sugar or cocoa powder for decoration so as not to distract from its indulgent flavour.
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE
(makes one 1.5 litre (10 inch) bundt)
- 250ml Guinness
- 250g butter
- 75g cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 142ml yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1tbsp vanilla extract
- 160g plain flour
- 125g rye flour
- 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Grease & line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment
- In a large saucepan gently melt together the Guinness, butter, sugar and cocoa, set aside to cool slightly
- Using a jug, mix together the yogurt, vanilla extract & eggs
- In a large bowl, sift together the flours & bicarbonate
- Add the Guinness mixture and the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined & no spots of flour remain
- Pour into the tin and bake at 180C for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until a skewer inserted comes out clean
- Allow the cake to cool completely in its tin for 10 minutes before removing