After the chaotic, sugar coated mess of my last A to Z of Baking challenge, I opted for something that I hoped would be tasty but less ‘high maintenance’ for the ‘G’ of my challenge. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I decided to create Guinness cake for the first time and compared with last week’s bake off, this latest baking experience was smooth, sweet and laid-back, just as anything involving Guinness should be.
I set to making my latest creation a few days earlier than planned. On Tuesday evening, Steve and I rushed home from work to give our house a quick spruce up as we’re planning to rent it out in the near future (more news on this adventure to follow in a future post) and were informed by the estate agent that we had a viewing booked for 6pm. By 6.30pm, it became clear that our first house viewer was a no-show. Feeling tired, restless and annoyed that we’d cancelled our evening plans for this non-existent viewing, I decided to do something productive with my frustration rather than give into the temptation to veg out in front of the TV. So, what better to do than rustle up a cake!
After a mad dash to the local supermarket, I set to creating my chocolate stout cake and let me tell you, the recipe I followed from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Cake Days’ book was a breeze! It was relatively quick to rustle up and very painless, and the results are impressive!
This cake is, in my humble opinion and limited experience, super easy to make, and looks and tastes delicious.
There aren’t many, other than I forgot to dust the cake with cocoa powder, but I don’t think that affected the overall outcome much.
- 250ml Guinness
- 250g unsalted butter
- 80g cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 140ml buttermilk
- 280g plain flour
- 2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the frosting
- 50g unsalted butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 125g full-fat cream cheese
- Cocoa powder for dusting
Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / Gas mark 3, then line the base of a 9in (23cm) cake tin with baking parchment.
Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk by hand in a hug or bowl, and then add this to the mixture in the pan.
Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl and with an electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes (although I had to bake for nearly an hour until it had set), until the sponge bounces back when pressed and a skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin on to a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.
Using the electric whisk, mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter and it is fully combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix on a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Place the cooled cake onto a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. The cake can be decorated with a light dusting of cocoa powder.