Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Your Shopping Basket
Signed Copies
Account Services

Guinness cake is good for you

20th October 2011 - Gayle Lazda

The Hummingbird Bakery's third book, Cake Days, serves up another helping of diabetes-inducing treats from across the pond, this time themed by special days from throughout the year; some obvious (pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween, eggnog cupcakes for Christmas); some slightly less so (no matter how hard I try I just can't find a connection between Easter and coconut cream pie. Coconuts are slightly egg-shaped...? I'm just not sure.)

But flicking through these recipes, the last thing on my mind is the question of seasonal appropriateness - if you like cake, and of course you do, the Hummingbird Bakery will not let you down. Some recipes might involve seeking out unusual ingredients ("vanilla Marshmallow Fluff", I don't know what it is but I'm VERY EXCITED to find out) or extra equipment (I love the idea of a four-layer cake as much as the next glutton, but as my granny - expert cake-baker and all-around good egg - pointed out, no one owns four sandwich tins), but I'm certain the end results are worth the effort. And now to test this theory, with chocolate Guinness cake.

Chocolate Guinness cake recipe page

I begin by gently melting AN ENTIRE BLOCK OF BUTTER into some Guinness. THIS IS THE STUFF DREAMS ARE MADE OF. Once I've added the sugar (400g!) and cocoa, I am quite happy to stop cooking now and enjoy the amazing hot chocolate I've just created. But I manage to keep going, and add eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk. Once the dry ingredients are mixed in, it's poured into the tin, and into the oven. Easy.

Chocolate Guinness cake mixing bowl

Or not. Overexcited by the indescribably delicious smells floating around my flat, I open the oven too soon, and instead of "bouncing back when lightly pressed," the cake sinks. I proceed to be in a grump for the rest of the afternoon.

Chocolate Guinness cake out of the oven

I figure I may as well keep going, and try to hide my failure under a thick layer of frosting. This is definitely one of the advantages of the Hummingbird way, but a word of warning: it is entirely impossible to mix 300g of icing sugar into 50g of butter with an electric whisk without it going EVERYWHERE. My face, clothes, kitchen are immediately covered in a thin layer of white and it's only when I add the cream cheese that it starts to come together and resemble frosting. I quickly realise my icing skills are not up to the smooth even layer illustrated in the book, and downheartedly slap it on, ready to give the whole thing up as a bad job.

Luckily, I am surrounded by willing tasters who don't share my baking pessimism: one declares it "angelic", and another resorts to language that is probably best not repeated here. Suffice to say, in spite of the odd mishap, it's delicious; the Guinness keeps it moist and gooey and adds a chocolately depth that cocoa-only chocolate cakes often lack. It's not as pretty as it should be, but I just don't think I care.

Chocolate Guinness cake slice


Click here to read Gayle's blog on trying the perfect teacake recipe from Oliver Peyton's British Baking.


Comments via Facebook

Leave Comment

Related Items

The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days:...
Tarek Malouf
Short and Sweet
Dan Lepard

Currently out of stock

The Primrose Bakery Book
Martha Swift; Lisa Thomas
Leon: Baking & Puddings
Henry Dimbleby; Claire Ptak

Currently out of stock

Boy Who Bakes
Edd Kimber

Currently out of stock

Michel Roux

Currently out of stock

© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close