Welcome to our new(ish) column, "Ask the Pastry Chef," by Amy Morris, a pastry sous chef at J&G Steakhouse. Have a question for Amy? Leave it in the comments section.
Do you have a cake recipe with Guinness in it for St. Patrick's Day?
Nothing says St. Patrick's Day more than Guinness beer. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to finish off your corned beef dinner than with a good Guinness chocolate cake topped with an orange glaze. What the heck--drink the beer with dessert too. They go well together.
Guinness can be a hard ingredient to bake with. Sounds easy enough to add it in any recipe by replacing the liquid, but be careful. It will more than likely leave a bitter aftertaste.
I added orange zest to my recipe to tone down the bitterness, and paired with the sour cream, this worked wonderfully. Chocolate still dominates, but the Guinness is still there -- in a very tasty way.
This cake recipe can be baked in regular cake molds. Like the beer itself, the rich dark chocolate color looks great, and I thought the Bundt cake mold would let that shine. If you need an easy dessert, or simply don't have the time to make something decadent, this is a perfect way to go.
I've topped this cake with a simple orange glaze. It complements the chocolate well and brings out the orange without overdoing it. Alternatively, a buttercream icing will taste great with it, too.
A good cocoa powder will add a deeper flavor to your cake. Hershey's carries a special dark cocoa powder that can be easily found in most stores. Personally, I prefer the hoity toity elite brands, but I've tried this product and I think most people will be happy with it--especially if you're not ready to hand over your wallet when you leave the store.
Last, but not least, save your leftover Guinness to drink with your cake--that is, if it's not gone already. The coffee flavor in the beer really comes out, and the sweetness of the frosting and cake smooths out any bite that's left. Besides eating chocolate cake, it's a great way to end your St. Patrick's Day evening. Guinness Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 zest from 1 orange 2 eggs 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup Guinness beer 1/2 cup sour cream 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine the flour and baking soda together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beer and sour cream. (Note: the sour cream will mix better at room temperature.)
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with the paddle attachment. When it's light and fluffy, add the orange zest and mix well.
Add in one egg and mix. Scrape the bowl and add the second egg. Mix well and scrape the bowl again.
Add in the cocoa powder and mix until it is combined.
Begin adding 1/2 cup of flour to the creamed mixture. After it is mixed in, add in 1/2 cup of the sour cream/beer mixture. Alternate between adding in the flour and the wet ingredients till everything is combined. Scrape the bowl.
Beat on medium-high for about two minutes. Spread into prepared greased molds and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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And now for the glaze.... Orange Glaze 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, about 2 oranges 1/4 zest from 1 orange 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, zest, vanilla extract and butter. Whisk well. Add in the powdered sugar. Whisk to combine. If too stiff, add more orange juice, and if it's still too runny, add more powdered sugar. It should be thick enough to make ribbons when you pull it up from the bowl with your whisk.
Pour gently over the cake and let it sit for a couple of minutes before cutting.