I can’t believe that with all my cake posts in various places I haven’t written about this cake yet, from the Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame in Nigella Lawson’s Feast. It takes about five minutes to get into the oven, is rich, chocolatey, but not too sweet, and (perhaps my favorite feature) it is an excellent vehicle for lots and lots of cream cheese frosting.
For the cake:
Butter for pan
1 c Guinness stout
10 T (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
2 c superfine sugar
3/4 c sour cream
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t baking soda
For the topping:
1 1/4 c confectioners’ sugar
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 c heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (I seem only to have 8 1/2″ and 9 1/2″ springforms, but the 8 1/2″ works just fine)
In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture.
Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth.
Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
Meanwhile, make the topping:
Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners’ sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand.
Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.