My poison of choice for some years now is stout. It probably looks proper funny to see a little Asian lady with half a pint of stout lurking about the pub, but if you do see her, it's me! It all started with a lovely trip to Dublin to see friends, and up the Guinness storehouse where I had the best.pint.ever.
It's gotta be creamy and full bodied though. I've found milk stouts to be even more delicious. It's also an age old medicinal marvel...as apparently in ye olden days, Irish midwives would recommend stout to new mums for much needed iron...so who am I to argue with such sound logic eh?
Guinness cakes have been around for a while and are delicious. They're chocolatey, with a delectable depth of flavour, not overly astringent or alcohol-ey either. There are recipes with cream cheese frosting which indeed pairs very nicely, however my recipe lifts the malty tones of the cake with added malted milk in the sponge and buttercream. It's, quite simply, the devil in cake form.
Guinness Chocolate Malt Cake Recipe
For the Guinness Chocolate Malt Sponge Layers
250g plain flour
200g caster sugar
200g light brown sugar
75g cocoa powder
100g malted milk drink powder
2tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
250ml Guinness or any dark stout
100ml vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius and prepare three 6 inch round baking tins by lightly greasing them and sprinkling flour over them.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk up the eggs, yoghurt, oil and vanilla.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the Guinness until just simmering. Then pour into the eggy mix, whisking continuously till well combined. Pour it all into the dry ingredients and whisk into an evenly combined batter. It's going to be pretty runny!
4. Pour the batter evenly into the three tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for done-ness with a wooden skewer or cocktail stick. Once baked, pull the tins out of the oven, let them rest at room temp for about 10 minutes before popping the sponges out carefully on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
5. Once cooled, use a cake leveller or bread knife to tort the cakes into even layers and use the scraps to make crumbs in a chopper. I like using 5 layers of sponge for the layer cake.
Guinness Malt Swiss Meringue Buttercream
150ml egg whites
225g granulated/caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
300g butter, softened at room temperature
100ml Guinness stout
100g Malted milk powder
1. Follow the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe to make a batch of neutral Swiss meringue buttercream.
2. Pour the Guinness and malted milk powder into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring well to dissolve the malted milk drink powder. Do not boil or over-heat!
3. Once the buttercream is ready, pour the malted Guinness paste into the mixing bowl and whip to combine. It's DELIGHTFUL.
Guinness Chocolate Ganache
120g dark chocolate
60g butter, cubed
60ml Guinness stout
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a bain marie or microwave (make sure it's a microwave-safe bowl!)
2. Stir in the cubes of butter till it has combined well with the melted chocolate.
3. Pour in the Guinness and stir till mixed in.
Decorating the Guinness Chocolate Malt Cake
1. Dab a bit of the Guinness malt buttercream in the middle of an 8 inch round cake board or drum. Place a Guinness chocolate sponge layer in the centre.
2. Spread a layer of buttercream evenly over the sponge layer using a palette knife and place another layer of sponge on top. Repeat with buttercream and sponge layers until you've used up 5 layers of sponge.
3. Smooth a crumb coat of buttercream on the outside of the layered stack and place it in the fridge to firm up for 15-20 minutes. Once firm, smooth another layer of buttercream on using an angled palette knife or cake smoother/scraper.
4. Coat the base of the cake with sponge crumbs and place the cake in the fridge to chill until firm.
5. Warm the Guinness ganache until 28-32 degrees Celsius. Spoon it along the top in a 2 inch section at the edge of the cake and using the back of a tablespoon, gently push some ganache over the edge to create lovely drips along the cake. Repeat till all the edges of the cake have drips and then flood the middle of the cake with ganache to cover the top. You can see step-by-step photos of the drip cake technique here.
6. Sprinkle cake crumbs over the top and pipe stars or swirls of buttercream along the edge if you wish.
Kick back with a pint of Guinness and enjoy this utterly delectable cake on Saint Patrick's Day, or any other day for that matter. It's divine!
If you've tried my recipe or have any questions on it please do drop them into the comments below! And if you've got any photos of your cake do tag me on instagram @angesdesucre #angesdesucre so I can ogle your creation! And if you can't be bothered with all this, you know you can just order our blinged out Chocolate Guinness Cake and have it delivered in London or order it via Selfridges for collection.
Lots of love,