My friend Tessa introduced me to the wonder of Guinness Chocolate Cake last year. She mentioned it several times when we talked about baking, which we did quite often, so I figured it must be an exceptional cake. I had put it on my mental ‘baking-to-try’ list, but forgot about it for many months until St Patrick’s Day this year, when Floriditas sold Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes. Dark, rich, chocolatey with a slight bitter tang. I tried them and was hooked.
The recipe I found on my internet search was by Nigella Lawson, (linked there, so I don’t have to copy it out) so I was not surprised to see how indulgently decadent it was. A lot of sugar and butter, but maybe that’s OK because Guinness is good for you. The icing I would have to say is, in my opinion, an extravagance too far (I mean, it is cream cheese PLUS cream, with a tad of sugar) but you can’t fault it aesthetically. The cake does end up looking like a giant glass of Guinness. I can easily imagine a chef serving the cake in a Guinness glass as a dessert gimmick. But really, I think it would have been nicer with a simple chocolate ganache.
I think I made the icing far too runny as it didn’t set, and perhaps was rather impatient in not waiting til it was completely cool to ice, but that did add to the frothy-stout-look. Here is me pouring an icing shamrock on to the top of the cake.
I think this might be my new most delicious cake ever. Eaten while still bearing the vaguest hint of oven warmth, it had the most sublime depth of chocolatey flavour. It has quite a dense texture, so doesn’t refrigerate well, although if you didn’t ice it you could probably warm a slice slightly in the microwave after it had been in the fridge and I’m sure that would be really good. Nigella’s right in describing it as being almost like a non-spicy gingerbread. Maybe gingerbread crossed with a brownie would be a good description. I will definitely be making this cake again.