Monday, April 11th, 2016
I have not made a cake it a very long time. In fact, the last cake I remember making was a birthday cake in November. November. That’s five months ago. For someone who claims cooking as part of her soul this is appalling. Thus I present: The Chocolate Beer Cake.
I bumped into a friend the other day who asked if I’d done any baking recently, he’s a fan of my cakes, and I had to say no. In my book, stress baking brownies to eat straight out of of the tin between bouts of dissertation writing doesn’t count. It was almost shameful.
And thus, here is what I came up with on the train home on Friday whilst scribbling ideas for ‘giant fuck off recipes’ to make over the next few days while I determinedly don’t think about University, applications for Master’s degrees, my looming dissertation deadline and the 10 000 words I need to write, or my inevitable graduation into the adult world (ha) in July.
I admit, it’s not the most extravagant of giant fuck off cakes, but it’s been a long term and I am very tired. Chocolate and laced with booze is the best that can be hoped for.
I first started making this when I was probably about 14, and clearly couldn’t buy any alcohol, which meant I had to ask my Dad to buy it for me and ended up making it with some very strange combinations. I think once I even used Aspalls cyder, which sort of worked.
(Note: this works best with stout, but I forgot my ID when I went to the supermarket and couldn’t buy Guinness because I have the face of a child, the village shop only stocks Adnams or Scrumpy Jacks)
To make one cake:
(Loosely based on this Delia recipe)
200g soft dark brown sugar
75g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
175g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the icing:
2 tbsp beer
165g dark chocolate (the darker the better)
165g icing sugar
You can also add walnuts, 25g chopped for the icing in the middle of the cake and 8 halves to decorate, but as I have an allergy I don’t.
Start by preheating your oven to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4, grease and line 2 cake tins
Cream together the butter and sugar until fairly light and fluffy, I lack the upper body strength to do this by hand so use a mixer. Then, gently beat in your eggs, one at a time. By this point you’re mixture should be a light brown.
In a separate bowl, mix together your beer and cocoa powder, it doesn’t matter if there are still a few lumps.
Add the rest of your dry ingredients to the egg mix and gently fold in the cocoa and beer. It will start to look like a bit of a hot mess at this point, but don’t worry!
Once all of the beer/cocoa mix has been incorporated give it one more stir for luck and pour into your tins.
Level off and pop them in the oven for about 30mins, they’ll be level and springy when cooked.
Take your cakes out of the oven, and turn onto a cooling rack to completely cool.
For the icing, melt the chocolate and beer together in a bain-marie.
Once the chocolate is melted take it off the heat to cool a little and cream the butter and icing sugar together. When light and fluffy, mix in the chocolate and beer.
Start by taking your least pretty cake and smoothing 1/4ish of icing over the top before sandwiching on the second cake.
Now take the rest of your icing and divide into 3. Take the first 1/3 and spread it over the top of your cake. Take the remaining 2/3 and spread them around the sides, you might not use it all so spread the rest on the top of the cake.