I'd been wanting to try Nigella Lawson's recipe for chocolate Guinness cake for a while. Not really because I had any affinity for beer in desserts, but because I had a bottle of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar that seemed perfect for the recipe and oldest nephew's birthday was just the excuse I needed. I guess anyone else would just drink the beer, but the recipe only calls for one cup, so I saved the rest of the bottle for oldest nephew and lil' sis to finish off.
I did make some minor adjustments to Nigella's recipe. After converting ml to oz, I also increased the amount of sour cream and cocoa, and decreased the amount of sugar per my tastebuds. The result was a very moist, slightly damp cake, with the nutty aroma of hazelnuts. The ale seemed to enhance the flavor of the chocolate. The frosting was just a mixture of whipped cream, cream cheese, and powdered sugar, a light complement to the richness of the cake.
Definitely a winner. I wonder what this cake would taste like if I substituted a non-alcoholic drink such as root beer? Hmmm.
Chocolate Ale (Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar) Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake.
For an 8-inch cake, you'll need:
1 cup, or 2 sticks of butter
1 cup Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar or other beer of your choice
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
For the frosting, you'll need:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup whipped cream
First, I had to Make a Homemade Cake Stand and a Homemade Tiered Cupcake Stand for lil' sis. Actually, I made these a few days prior.
So once the cake stand is made, it's time to mak a cake to display it.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the butter in slices. In a large saucepan on medium heat, pour the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, or any ale of your choice. Add the butter and stir until melted.
When the butter is melted, add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and everything is well mixed. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl to cool down.
In another bowl, add 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, and 2 tsps vanilla extract.
Beat until mixed.
Add 2 cups flour and 2 1/2 tsps baking soda into the cooled chocolate beer mixture. Beat until smooth.
Then pour the sour cream mixture into the chocolate beer mixture and beat again.
Pour the cake batter into a greased 8-inch springform pan. I also made one small cake since Gourmet Pigs was coming over for lunch to finish off my Mi Ga Tay Tiem (Vietnamese Egg Noodle Soup with Turkey and Chinese 5-Spice). Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the cake was baking, I also made Chao Ga Tay (Vietnamese Turkey Rice Porridge) for oldest nephew's childhood friend.
After 45 minutes, the cake was still a little damp in the middle, but the edges were crispy and done so I didn't want to overcook it. Let the cake cool complete to make it easier to remove from the pan.
I just used bottled spray whipped cream for the mini cake. Looks a little bare?
Oh, yeah, I also made Meyer Lemon Shortbread Bars displayed on lil' sis' new tiered cupcake stand that I made. The lemon bars weren't quite cooled yet before I cut into them. Had to pack up the lemon bars, the chocolate beer cake, and the Vietnamese rice porridge before heading down to San Diego.
Look! They already put up the Christmas tree.
While oldest nephew and I dined at Cafe 21 - San Diego (University Heights) for his birthday, lil' sis frosted the cake at home. Beat 4 oz cream cheese until smooth, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup whipped cream. You might want to adjust quantities a bit, but it should be a very light frosting. I told lil' sis to only frost the top, per Nigella's instructions so that the cake would resemble a mug of Guinness with the frothy top, but lil' sis said she had so much fun frosting the cake with her new cake stand that she accidentally covered the whole cake.
Oldest nephew and I came back just in time for dessert.
But no birthday cake is complete without a candle to blow out. All we could find was a scented tea light, so lil' sis cleverly disguised it with a gingerbread man.
Care for a slice?
Looks moist and delicious, doesn't it?
Other cake recipes:
Honey Spice Cake
Knight-Themed Birthday Cake
Persimmon Mini Bundt Cakes
1 year ago today, Triple-Deviled Eggs with Black Pepper, Paprika, and Sriracha.
2 years ago today, Cranberry/Plum/Hoisin Sauce.
3 years ago today, Gaennip Kimchee (Korean Pickled Perilla Leaves).
4 years ago today, Muop Tom Xao (Vietnamese Loofah and Shrimp Stir-Fry.