Hey! There’s beer in my dessert!

There are some things that just don’t seem like they should go together…peppers and jelly, chili cheese frito chips on a tuna sandwich, or honey on your pizza crust.  But the great thing about all of these is that they not only just go together well, but they are some of the most fantastic combinations.  Trust me.  If you haven’t tried one of them, please do and then report back on how your mind exploded at the realization of how good it was.

I’m no stranger to weird food combinations, so when Aaron asked for a Guinness Cake I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be disappointed.  Beer?  Good.  Cake?  Good.   What could be bad about this?  Verdict:  Absolutely nothing was bad about this cake!  In fact, Aaron loved it so much he most definitely pumped his fist in the air several times emulating Arsenio Hall.

When it comes to dark beer I think this is the thing–you either love it or hate it.  Aaron happens to love it, so we have it around often.  But I do have to admit that when I poured that Guinness out, it completely resembled tar.  That is one dark beer!  It has a distinctive burnt flavor from the use of roasted barley.  Originating in the early 18th century, it still remains the best-selling alcoholic drink of all time in Ireland.  Erin Go Bragh!

The story of Arthur Guinness and the company he founded is inspiring to say the least.  You can read all about it here.  It’s well worth the read!  As I was reading about Guinness I found a little tidbit of information that I thought was so worth sharing.  It made me smile.  Studies done claim that Guinness can be beneficial to a person’s heart based on the antioxidant compounds found in the beer.  They are similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables and are said to slow down the buildup of harmful cholesterol on artery walls.  Bonus!  With the knowledge that consumers were saying they “felt good” after drinking a pint, in the 1920s Guinness ran an advertising campaign with the slogan “Guinness is good for you.”  I love it!  Guinness was told to stop using the slogan decades ago, but I think they should bring it back!  Moral of this post…this cake is good for you, so make it and enjoy!

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Makes about 12 slices

(recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson)

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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter in 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and make 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.
  5. 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.
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2 thoughts on “Hey! There’s beer in my dessert!

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