Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong country. If you live in Italy or Latin America your saint’s day is pretty much treated like your Birthday. There are gifts and potentially even jelly and ice-cream. But in The UK? Nada, niente, zip. I’m fully expecting to wake up on St Patrick’s Day without so much as a P-shaped helium balloon tethered to my bed post. So this year I decided to take matters into my own hands.
A saint’s day calls for cake and my saint’s day is synonymous with Guinness so there was really only one choice: Guinness Cake.
The only trouble is I never bake. Don’t be fooled by those wholemeal sugar-free scones I cooked recently. They were a freak kitchen occurrence. Trying to bake a chocolate Guinness Cake in the shape of a miniature Guinness glass was always going to be a challenge, but life is about going beyond your cake-related comfort zone.
Anyhow, bake those bad boys I did and not only did I get a whole battalion of saint’s day cakes, but 2.5 million views of the video too… Conclusion? There are a lot of other neglected Patrick’s around the world consoling themselves in the kitchen 😉
But here’s the irony…bake them though I did, it was everyone I work with who benefited, as I quit refined sugar a year ago. Bah, whatever, the video itself is enough to sate my appetite 🙂
Here’s the video and the recipe is below – Happy Paddy’s Day!
(makes around 18 individual cakes)
250ml (9fl oz) Guinness
400g (14oz) caster sugar
290g (10oz) plain flour
250g (9oz) unsalted butter
150ml (5fl oz) buttermilk
90g (3oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Cream Cheese Frosting
140g (4½oz) cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
60g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
300g (10½oz) icing sugar
Put your butter and Guinness into a saucepan on medium heat and once the butter melts take the pan off the heat. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder.
Put the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla bean paste (or essence if you can’t find paste) in a bowl ad whisk them together. Pour in the chocolatey Guinness mixture and whisk it all together.
Sift the flour, bicarb of soda and the baking powder into a bowl followed by the Guinness Mixture and use a spatula or a wooden spoon to gently bring everything together.
Pre-heat your oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3
Line some baking moulds completely with baking parchment. Make sure you cover the sides and the bottom (BTW, it’s a lot easier if you wipe a little butter on the baking moulds first as the parchment will stick to it).
Fill the cake moulds halfway with cake mixture and put them on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-40 mins. To test they are ready slide a knife into one and if it comes out clean/not covered in cake mixture you’re good to go.
Meanwhile make your cream cheese frosting. Put the icing sugar and slightly softened butter (i.e. take it out the fridge for an hour before) in a bowl and mix it until you get a fine crumb-like texture. Add in the cream cheese and whisk it really thoroughly until it’s light and fluffy.
Once the cakes have completely cooled down top with the frosting and get stuck in!
And if you need a recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting look no further…