It’s the middle of the month and so far no monthly summary has surfaced. I’ve come to realise something about monthly summaries, for me, they weren’t working. I’m sorry to those of you who enjoyed reading them but I really struggled with the words this month and if I’m struggling, then I’m certain you won’t enjoy reading them. I also realised by saving titbits up for the end of the month, I had nothing to write about with recipes and so those blog posts dried up too. Never fear for those of you (my Parents) who enjoy the summaries because of the snap shots from my month, I promise to keep posting pictures in places. In fact have a particularly special one right here, right now…
Baking has dried up slightly too recently, the closing of the 2nd trimester has made me very lazy. I have a craving and I want it now, I have no time to plan, to source ingredients, to bake, to wait for it to cool… That’s all far too tiresome. If I want carrot cake, I want it now and will find someone who has already baked it to get it. Thankfully, when carrot cake cravings strike, I’m currently only a few moments walk from Muxima on Roman Road – who are pretty astounding with their carrot cake. A slice of this once cured a particularly bad hangover – obviously not recently of course! This was from our anniversary the other week.
Sometimes though, a craving can gently linger in the back of my mind. I’m aware of it but it doesn’t need satisfying immediately. With all the talk of St Patrick’s Day, I got thinking about Guinness and more importantly Guinness cake. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Guinness cake, this maybe why the craving is so far only gently lingering and not raging my every thought. But I did keep returning to the thought of it all week. Nigella provided me with this recipe, personally of course we’re old friends – go why back, oh the stories we could tell! I’ve not tweaked the recipe much, because I trust Nigella to get it right. I just added ½ teaspoon of salt on advice of one of the comments.
I also left out the double cream in the topping. When I’d mixed the cream cheese and icing sugar together, it looked like more than enough frosting for the cake and was also spreadable enough.
It’s a very easy cake to make – all done in one pot, no need really for fancy whizzing gadgets – just your elbow grease (a small amount) and a whisk. AND BEST OF ALL… it makes your house smell AMAZING. Being stuck inside on a gorgeous sunny day like London had yesterday is greatly improved by the smell of a delicious cake baking.
Officially of course I can’t tell you this has health benefits – the iron in Guinness which is meant to be good for Pregnant/Nursing women is apparently a myth BUT if it means I get to eat Chocolate cake for the health of the baby – I’m believing the advice, I’m running with it and I’m eating the whole cake to myself! Okay, I did actually share it with Bernie, in case you were worried the bump picture above is all cake and no baby.
Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake
recipe from www.nigella.com
makes roughly 12 slices
250ml / 1 cup Guinness
250g / 8.8oz unsalted butter – sliced
400g / 14.1oz golden caster sugar
75g / 2.6oz cocoa powder
142ml / ¾ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
275g / 9.7oz plain flour
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
Grease and Line a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
Preheat the oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas mark 4
On a gentle heat in a large saucepan melt the butter with the Guinness, whisking occasionally.
When all the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder.
Once combined, mix together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract and add this to the chocolatey mixture.
Finally add the flour, bicarb and salt and mix thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer/knife comes out clean.
Leave the cake in the tin to cool on a rack – it’s quite a wet cake, so do not be tempted to remove it from the tin until it is fully cooled.
I found the cake sunk slightly in the middle, but I wasn’t concerned – I knew Nigella would tell me not to make a fuss, it’s still edible and that’s all that matters.
300g / 10.6oz cream cheese
150g / 5.3oz icing sugar
Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth and then add the icing sugar. Beat until all lumps removed.
I personally turned my cake upside down but this isn’t an essential step, I just liked the perfectly flat top this gives it. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake – the look you are going for is the top of a pint of Guinness.
The cake is rich, moist (I can’t avoid that word, I’m sorry) slightly bitter but oh my goodness, it’s AMAZING. I couldn’t stop eating it at first, it was too delicious. Make sure you make it when you’ve got visitors due or else you will just eat the whole thing and end up with a belly like mine!