Saturday, March 12, 2011

Put a Creamy Icing Head on that Guinness Stout Cake (Redux)

fake paddy's day in aggieville 2011: pictures HERE.
This post is for all the sweet ones leaving for Ireland this week: this is for you.
There's more than one way to get your Daily Dose of Guinness Stout.

Nigella lawson writes cookbooks. She is kind enough to give us a recipe for something green to drink on St. Patrick's Day that does not include green dye...
Also, a cake that has Guinness Stout in the ingredient list!
"Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake comes loaded with sugar, chocolate and a cream cheese frosting that recalls the foamy head of a pint. But adults, on this celebratory holiday, might appreciate some simplicity. So instead of getting mixed up in a bowl, these ingredients get melted together over the stove, making it kind of an easy cake, too.
Finally, Lawson suggests a festive cocktail to wash down all that chocolate, veal, lamb and Guinness.
"It's a minty martini," she says, "which I sort of feel is obligatory to drink on St. Patrick's Day because it's called Emerald Isle."
The Emerald Isle calls for a shot of gin, a teaspoon of green creme de menthe and bitters.
"It sounds like an odd drink," Lawson says. "You certainly wouldn't want to be knocking back pints of the stuff — but when everyone else is drinking a lot of green beer, this is an elegant martini to have that shows you're in the spirit."

For recipes and the rest of the above story, click here: St. Patrick Day Recipes: Irish Stew and More

Chocolate Guinness Cake Nigella Lawson
This cake is magnificent in its damp blackness. I can't say that you can absolutely taste the stout in it, but there is certainly a resonant, ferrous tang which I happen to love. The best way of describing it is to say that it's like gingerbread without the spices. There is enough sugar — a certain understatement here — to counter any potential bitterness of the Guinness, and although I've eaten versions of this made up like a chocolate layer cake, stuffed and slathered in a rich chocolate frosting, I think that can take away from its dark majesty. Besides, I wanted to make a cream cheese frosting to echo the pale head that sits on top of a glass of stout. It's unconventional to add cream but it makes it frothier and lighter which I regard as aesthetically and gastronomically desirable. But it is perfectly acceptable to leave the cake un-iced: in fact, it tastes gorgeous plain.

Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar

3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Ingredients for the topping:

8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream
Nigella's Suggestions:

For a simpler dessert, replace the frosting with a light dusting of powered sugar.

Preheat the over to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.
Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter — in spoons or slices — and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the frosting. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the confectioner's sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsifted confectioners' sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
Makes about 12 slices
From Feast by Nigella Lawson. Photographs by James Merrell. Copyright 2004 Nigella Lawson. Photographs Copyright 2004 by James Merrell. Published by Hyperion. All Rights Reserved.

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