With two chocolate-loving teens in the house both celebrating birthdays this month (not to mention Fit and Fed’s blogiversary!) cake is in order. And Tastefully Julie’s Chocolate Guinness Cake with its striking black cake and white frosting has had a hold on my mind ever since I saw it on her blog months ago. I love dark beer in bread and just knew it would be even better in chocolate cake.
Unlike many projects, this one turned out as well as the idea, and on the first try, too. The cocoa plus a bit of dark beer makes a deep, complex, irresistible flavor, and the cake is moist without being soggy. It disappeared quickly at a holiday party. You could use any dark porter or stout beer in this recipe, and I used Deschute Brewery’s Black Butte Porter. In a fortuitous touch, reviewers seem unanimous that Black Butte Porter tastes of dark chocolate. I’d use it again in this recipe.
I chose duck eggs for their superior baking qualities, kefir instead of sour cream, and a simple whipped cream topping which I prefer over frosting. Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake has a cream cheese frosting, as does Julie’s recipe, which is an adaptation of Nigella’s converted to American measure.
This is not a terribly healthy recipe but I did use organic ingredients, including one that was new to me: Pure Eire 100% grass-fed Jersey heavy cream. It’s a beautiful yellow color and has but a single ingredient. It’s produced on a small family farm in Othello, WA and available in the Seattle area at PCC co-ops.
8/13 Update: I’ve made this again twice this summer, this time with regular chicken eggs and sour cream. It smells so delicious even as a batter, all caramel and coffee and chocolate. It was quite a hit at a big party at our house with people asking what was in it besides the chocolate. I’ve started using light muscovado sugar for half the sugar to add even more flavor and have amended the recipe to add that possibility.
- 1 cup dark beer such as porter or stout
- ½ cup (1 stick) plus two tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups white sugar or 1 cup white and 1 cup light muscovado sugar
- ½ cup kefir (or sour cream)
- 2 small duck eggs or large chicken eggs
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla or to taste
- 2 Tbsp. sugar to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9" springform pan and line bottom with a cut-out round of parchment paper.
- Chop butter, heat in a large pan on the stove with the beer, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted.
- Whisk in cocoa and sugar, stir to melt sugar, remove from heat.
- Break eggs into a large bowl, beat, combine with kefir (or sour cream) and vanilla.
- Pour the beer/butter mixture into the large bowl and whisk together.
- Add the flour and baking soda and whisk together again.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan, bake for about 50 minutes. The knife will come out clean when the cake is done, but the cake will remain quite moist: be careful not to overcook the cake.
- Cool the cake completely still in the springform pan.
- Unfasten pan, cut cake off the bottom, peel off parchment paper.
- Whip cream. A cold metal container is the best for whipping cream: I use the chilled work bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on low speed, add sugar and vanilla once there are soft peaks. Taste and adjust sugar and vanilla. Beat a little more on low speed until peaks are mostly firm.