March 17th, 2011
Here goes, I’m just going to say it: I’m not so into St. Patrick’s Day. Never have been.
I almost didn’t mark the occasion at all this year. I’m not so into drinking. I didn’t have time to plan a big corned beef and cabbage dinner. And you know how I feel about super cutesy food. Throw in green food dye and adios amigos, I’m outta here.
I know, I know. There’s more to St. Patrick’s day than boozing, cabbage and green food. There’s also Guinness. Yes, that’s right, Guinness is different than general boozing. Ever since my 1-Guinness-a-night habit to boost breastfeeding, I place the classic stout in a category of its own. Throw in some chocolate (and butter!), and now we’ve got a holiday.
This recipe is not my own. I have never baked with beer before (go figure!) and so I turned to Nigella for a recipe. And aren’t you happy that I did! This cake is easy and delicious. And, lest you say I’m a party pooper when it comes to cutesy holiday food, I love how this cake resembles a pint of Guinness, black on the bottom topped with a billowy poof of white. That’s cute and festive, right?
So here’s what you do. Grab some Guinness and butter. (What better way to begin?)
Put over heat until the butter melts, then whisk in cocoa. Look at the gorgeous color! (I kind of want a cozy reading room with walls painted the same color, but I digress.)
From this, you will make a batter that bakes into this gorgeousness.
The icing comes together in a snap. You pile it on — you don’t even have to do it neatly — and done.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Chocolate Guinness Cake, adapted from Nigella
makes about 12 slices
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos*)
For the cake:
1 c Guinness
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 heaping Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 c sugar
5 Tbsp sour cream (I used plain Greek-style yogurt)
2 lg eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the icing:
1 1/4 c confectioners sugar
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9″ springform pan and line the bottom with parchment. Combine Guinness and butter in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa and sugar until well blended.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Add Guinness mixture, mix until well combined. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake until risen and firm, about 45 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
3. Make the icing: Stir or whisk confectioners sugar to break up the lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream and continue mixing until smooth and spreadable. Top the cake and serve!
*Note: I recommend this for children 12+ mos due to the high sugar content. Also, obviously, this recipe contains alcohol, which you may not want to serve to any child. It’s said that enough alcohol burns out to make a dish like this safe for children and pregnant women (this Guinness in this is cooked twice!), but check out this great article to learn more. It looks more specifically at how much alcohol actually burns off during cooking.