Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day and a bit of Recycling

Last years shamrock biscuits. The green glitter still lingers.
I'm at the Scottish ones this weekend where I have mostly been trying to dig a hole in heavy clay soil with a view to planting things in it - I hope after all the effort they thrive. Now that I'm back in the warm with a cup of tea my mind has turned to cake; we don't have any and the Scottish one isn't a baker so his kitchen lacks the means for me to make one, but if I was at home I'd be baking a Guinness cake in honour of St Patrick's day and because it's delicious. 

I recommend my sister's version which is dense, chocolaty, and splendid (last written about 2 years ago and definitely time to bake again)
Dark Damp Lovely Luscious Guinness Cake
250ml Guinness                  
250g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate
200g caster sugar
200g soft brown sugar
142ml (small tub) sour cream
2 eggs
Tablespoon vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 and a 1/2  spoons bicarbonate of soda

1 small tub of  double cream 
1 small tub of crème fraiche 

Large spring form tin lined and primed, oven set to gas 4 /180 c
Put the Guinness and butter in a saucepan, heat gently until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate broken into pieces allow to melt and stir all together.
Add the sugars to the mix.
Beat together the sour cream eggs and vanilla, add to the Guinness batter, fold in the flour and bicarb, poor into the tin and bake for 45 mins to an hour.

When it’s cooled completely whip the cream for the topping, and fold in the crème fraiche - the overall effect is very guinnessey, and we want to see what sort of cupcakes this mix makes. Sisters use of crème fraiche in the topping cuts the sweetness of the cake with just a hint of the memory of the bitterness of a good pint (she’s a clever girl) I should also say that these quantities make a cake big enough to feed a small army, but it does go down remarkably fast.

Nigella's version which is a little lighter and more adaptable to being turned into cupcakes can be found here (which is where the picture is pinched from as sadly I didn't take a photo of Sophie's offering which was every bit as good looking). 


  1. One of my favourite cakes to make and my colleagues to eat as well. I use the Nigella receipe.Never thought of doing them as a cupcakes, might have to try that one out as I promised to cook a cake for the end of term at work.

  2. I've a friend who does it as cupcakes - they look like little pints and are very appealing. Your colleagues are very lucky.

  3. Nigella's recipe does work well as cupcakes, but a huge slice is more satisfying! Great cake :)

  4. A huge slice of cake is a beautiful, if sometimes intimidating, thing. Both versions are excellent, Sophie's is a much heavier more dinner party-ish affair but even after 2 years it lives on in my memory...

  5. That looks a very interesting cake. Can you actually taste the Guinness? Sadly, I'm not a fan...but maybe it's like carrot cake, and you would never know?

  6. A lot like carrot cake - you wouldn't know what was in it. I like cakes which are rich rather than sweet so it suits me down to the ground.

  7. Thanks...I shall try it for Easter.