Chocolate Beer Cake
The beer – dark stout (Guinness, Murphy’s or similar) – gives this cake an extra dimension, and the icing is so good it can be used on other chocolate cakes.
|175g self-raising flour|
|¼ level teaspoon baking powder|
|1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda|
|275g dark brown soft sugar|
|110g spreadable butter|
|2 large eggs, beaten|
|50g cocoa powder, sifted|
|200ml sweet stout|
|For the icing:|
|110g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken up|
|2 tablespoons sweet stout|
|50g spreadable butter|
|110g icing sugar, sifted|
|25g walnut pieces, finely chopped|
|8 walnut halves|
|Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4|
|Need help with conversions?|
|Equipment: You will need two 20cm loose-based round sponge tins, greased with base liners plus two wire cooling trays|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
All you do is sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down.
Then simply add all the other ingredients, except the stout. Now, using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about one minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency.
Finally stir in the stout, a little at a time, until it’s all incorporated.
Next divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake near the centre of the oven for about 30–35 minutes.
They are cooked when you press lightly with your little finger and the centre springs back.
Then remove them from the oven and after about 30 seconds loosen the edges by sliding a palette knife all round then turn them out onto a wire cooling tray.
Carefully peel back the lining by gently pulling it back.
Now lightly place the other cooling tray on top and just flip them over so that the tops are facing upwards (this is to prevent them sticking to the cooling tray).
To make the icing: melt the broken chocolate with the stout in a bowl set over a pan containing 5cm of barely simmering water, without the bowl touching the water.
When it’s melted (5–10 minutes) take it off the heat. Beat in the butter and leave it to cool a little before beating in the icing sugar with an electric hand whisk.
Now transfer a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir the chopped walnuts into that.
After the icings have cooled to a spreadable consistency, sandwich the cake with the walnut icing, then spread the remaining two thirds of the icing on the top of the cake, using a palette knife.
Finally decorate with a circle of walnut halves.
Leave the icing to set completely before storing in an airtight tin.
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This is obviously perfect for children to make because there’s no cooking involved. But the grown-up version could include other combinations of fruits and nuts (prunes, crystallised ginger, dried sour cherries, etc).
This is quite simply my own favourite chocolate dessert of all time. It’s dark, very moist, and the prunes soaked in Armagnac make it a very grown-up chocolate experience. I used to call it Sunken Chocolate Cake but sometimes it doesn’t sink!
From the book, Delia's Cakes and made with dark chocolate and almonds. A moist cake with tiny flecks of chocolate.
If there is an ultimate chocolate cake this one could be high on the list of contenders. No flour, just chocolate, ground almonds and whipped egg whites which make it so light and airy, and extremely moist.
This is a perennial favourite, named after the famous Viennese hotel. It’s dark, very chocolatey and sophisticated, and for a special occasion or a birthday, it’s nice to decorate it with sugared rose petals
In the late ’70s this cake went down a storm, and still people tell me they always have it on their birthday! Because it is not made with flour it’s incredibly light and soufflé-like.
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