Guinness Chocolate Cake… strap yourself in coz this cake is gonna blow your socks off. Really – it’s something else. I thought I’d found my favourite chocolate cake (I should seriously be locked up for saying that. Who ever finds their favourite cake, really?) with a recipe one of my sisters uses, but then I baked this cake. It’s amazingly good. It is perfectly dense, perfectly chocolatey and perfectly sweet. You can eat a whole slice without needing to go and lie on the bedroom floor for an hour or you’ll be sick. And believe me, I’ve been in that situation coz there ain’t no way I’m not finishing a piece of cake my friend!
And yes, you did read that correctly – Guinness… You can use any kind of dark beer for this cake as it gives that lovely depth of flavour. I have a definite love of layer cakes. And it’s not unfounded either – why on earth wouldn’t you like every mouthful of cake to contain frosting? I mean it’s just common sense!
As you may already know, I have a particular love of Meringue Frosting too. I love it to fill layer cakes and I love the pure white iced effect it gives the cake. One reason I used Meringue Frosting with this cake (other than it’s awesome) is because I wanted to have that lovely dramatic effect of the dark chocolate ganache drizzling over the white meringue.
A word to the wise – if you don’t have a cake stand (or a few!) you need to get moving and get one! How can a magnificent cake like this, that you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into sit on just any old serving plate? Come on… Here are a couple I’m loving on right now… Now Designs Tin Cake Stand, Aqua – aqua people!, Cake Stand with Cover, Stainless Steel – why did I not own this one?! I’ve remedied that and you’ll be seeing it shortly… The crockery used in this and some other posts is my fave lenox french perle and the cake forks were given to me by another of my sisters (bless them!) and are Laguiole Cake Forks, which I’m in love with!
I give this tip in all of my layer cake recipes, just in case you don’t check out all of them (as if!).
You will see that I bake this cake (and all my layer cakes) in layer tins. I use Bakers Secret non stick, 20cm (8 inch) pans that are about 3cm (just over an inch) deep. The Wilton cake pans are just as good and the same size. I just think it’s easier than cutting a deeper cake into 3 layers. Especially because I have zero luck with cooking a larger cake evenly throughout – it is always drier on the edges than the middle. Hate. That. This way the 3 shallow cakes cook beautifully evenly – you’re welcome!
A word on recipes I’ve seen saying cook in batches when you use layer tins… Totally up to you, but I don’t really recommend cooking 2 cakes, waiting til they cool, turn them out of the pans, then cook the last layer. Nothing good comes of the self raising flour sitting there for an hour all mixed up with nowhere to go… Just sayin.
Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until nice and pale and thick. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating a little after each egg
In a separate bowl mix the beer and the cocoa until well combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
Add half of the beer mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix gently. Then add half of the flour mixture and mix again. Add the remaining beer mixture, mixing again, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix well, but gently, until combined.
Pour mixture evenly into the 3 layer tins. You want the tins to be about 2/3 full so that they have room to rise.
Bake for around 15 – 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pans. Believe me, don’t turn them out when they’re too warm because they will break. One I made broke cleanly in half as I was getting it out of the tin, because I was impatient for them to cool. (Grrr)
Fill between each layer with Meringue Frosting or buttercream. Ice the outside with the same frosting. I like to drizzle Dark Chocolate Ganache over the top of the cake, letting it run over the sides.
Ooh la la, eat up and enjoy folks!!