This is a Nigella Lawson recipe and so it is difficult to write an introduction without either feeling inferior or sounding totally affected. Only Nigella can use phrases like “damp blackness“, “resonant, ferrous tang” and “black majesty” to describe a cake. If I write things like this it ends up sounding like blog-based erotic fan fiction. Such is life.
This is the kind of cake I have to make when friends are coming over, otherwise I cut tiny slivers off of it every time I pass the kitchen and end up eating a whole cake to myself.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
- 1 cup Guinness
- 250g (1 big block) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1 3/4 cups caster (superfine) sugar
- 142 ml pot of sour cream (or a generous 1/2 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 300g Philadelphia cream cheese
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter and line (with parchment paper) a 23cm (9”) springform cake pan.
- Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter in spoonfuls and heat until it is melted, then whisk in the cocoa and the sugar. Beat the sour cream, eggs and vanilla together and add them to the beer mixture (make sure the heat is off). Whisk in the flour and baking soda.
- Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean). Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack as it is a damp cake.
- For the icing: lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, then sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat them together. You can do this in a food processor by putting the sugar in first to get rid of lumps, then adding the cheese.
- Add the cream and beat until it is a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the cake so that it looks like a glass of Guinness and serve to eagerly awaiting dinner guests.