Thursday, March 17

chocolate guinness cake

It's far too rare that I make a simple melt and mix cake and there really is no good recent as to why. There's something about simple cake recipes that makes the result even more rewarding, especially when it's as satisfying as this cake - aesthetically and otherwise. It's as though throwing everything together one morning before work and slapping on a bit of icing without barely dirtying a bowl lowers ones expectations. I would never dare doubt a Nigella recipe, especially after stumbling across others' reviews post-tasting, but I was a little wary of the unfamiliar.

If it weren't for a hefty cooking time and the necessity to cool this cake completely before removing from the tin (and it really is a necessity - this baby is dense), this cake could be created in mere moments. Despite being unlikely to require any further convincing, I believe this to be one of the best chocolate cakes I've made, perhaps polling second position behind Bourke St Bakery's flourless variety. Tall, dark and handsome, this cake also manages to be strangely light and although it contains only cocoa and no chocolate, it's gorgeously chocolate-y. And like Nigella describes so perfectly, the stout gives it a warmness and tanginess that's similar to gingerbread, only without the spices.

Recipe from Nigella Lawson

For the cake:
250 mls Guinness
250 gms unsalted butter
75 gms cocoa
400 gms caster sugar
140 mls pot sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
275 gms plain flour
2 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting:
300 gms cream cheese
150 gms icing sugar
125 mls pouring cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and butter and line a 23cm springform tin.

Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter's melted. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla until combined, and then add to beer mixture. Whisk in flour and bicarb soda. 

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

For the frosting, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar and beat to combine. Add the cream and beat again until fluffy and light, and at spreadable consistency. Generously spread frosting onto cake. 

My coworkers were the first to sample this cake, and despite them being kind with all of my creations, this seems to be a new favourite. Labeling it a very "adult" cake, it's best recommended with a strong coffee and a glass of port. 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

Recommended baking soundtrack: The Smiths - s/t. 


  1. This looks beautiful! I love your frosting too. Who can resist a good, dense cake?

  2. This looks lovely and sounds delicious. It is perfect for St.Patrick's Day. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary