Chocolate stout cake

I have another passion other than beer and that is baking but I do sometimes like to join the two.  I am known for my chocolate stout cake (it’s a Hummingbird Bakery recipe so I can’t take the credit there) but I do execute it well if I do say so myself!  They suggest using Guinness but I usually go for a more chocolate based stout such as a Meantime Chocolate Porter or a Saltaire Triple Chocoholic (bonus: you get half a bottle to drink whilst it’s baking).  I recently made it using Anspach & Hobday’s The Porter which went down well with everyone at the brewery.

Am thinking of some more beer and cake marriages along the lines of a bitter fruit cake, smoked brownies or maybe a fruit sour icing.

For now here’s the chocolate stout recipe.  I am lactose intolerant and usually make my cakes dairy free but this one just doesn’t work without the cream cheese icing as you need it to cut through the richness of the cake.

Of course if you don’t like cake you can just have a beer for dessert; my personal favourite is Rebel Brewing’s Mexi-cocoa.

I am on holiday for two weeks now, expect tales of Icelandic beery adventures when I get back.

Hummingbird Bakery’s Chocolate Stout cake

  • 250ml (9fl oz) Stout
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
  • 80g (3oz) cocoa powder
  • 400g (14oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 140ml (5fl oz) buttermilk (you can make this by putting lemon in with normal milk and leave it for 5 mins)
  • 280g (10oz) plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g (10½oz) icing sugar
  • 125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
  • one 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment.
  2. Pour the stout 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 jug or bowl, and then add this to the mixture in the pan.
  3. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held 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.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (usually takes an hour in my oven). 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.
  5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, 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 in a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  6. Place the cooled cake on to 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.
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