This is a Nigella Lawson recipe, from Feast. I was a bit hesitant about it – I don’t like beer, and I think Guinness is quite revolting. And beer and chocolate just sounds wrong. But the boyfriend often has Guinness in the fridge, so I stole one to try this cake. (It was the last one too, much to his irritation.) Nigella says that the cake’s “magnificent in its damp blackness” with a “resonant, ferrous tang”. After looking up “ferrous” (which means ‘of or pertaining to iron’, if you’re similarly ignorant), I have to agree. I’m going to relate Nigella’s cooking temperatures and times here and not what I did, because not only did I ended up cooking the cake in two tins, not having one large enough for the recipe. The icing imitates the foam on a pint of Guinness very successfully – I was very pleased with its looks, and even more so with the taste. A nicely adult chocolate cake.
250g butter (1 cup)
75g cocoa (a rounded 1/2 cup)
400g caster sugar (2 cups)
140ml sour cream (I used plain yoghurt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
275g plain flour (2 1/4 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
for the icing:
300g cream cheese (I used 250g which was plenty)
150g icing sugar (1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180C, and grease and line (yes! lining is essential) a 23 centimetre springform tin.
Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and bicarb.
Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake for 45 mins to an hour. Leave to get completely cool in the tin, as it’s quite a damp cake.
For the icing, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together. Add the cream, and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake until it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.