To mark the occasion I've baked a special chocolate Guinness cake. It's a delicious, moist cake with the Guinness delivering a real depth in flavour.
My recipe is from the lovely Hummingbird bakery book 'cake days'. It's not too tricky to make, but you do need to make sure it is cooked, mine needed an extra 8 minutes in the oven.
For the cake:
250 ml Guinness
250 g unsalted butter
80g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
140ml buttermilk (or cheat and use milk and a teaspoon of lemon juice)
280g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
For the frosting:
50g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar
125g full fat cream cheese
Cocoa powder for dusting
You will need a lined 23cm springform baking tin and your oven on at 170c Gas mark 3 to warm up.
1. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan and add the butter, heat gently until the butter is melted, remove from heat
2. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until melted and cool for 5 minutes
3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla (you can just do this by hand, it doesn't need a mixer at this stage
4. Add the eggy, milky mix to the chocolate mix and stir thoroughly to mix it all together
5. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and have your electric beater ready or a willing arm ready to mix it
6. Add the chocolatey mixture to the dry ingredients and stir slowly to incorporate all the lovely
flavours. Increase the speed once the flour is mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure you get any flour that may have stubbornly sat at the bottom of the bowl too
7. Pour the 'goo' into the baking tin and pop it gently into the oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. For me this took an extra 8 minutes, but do keep checking as every oven is different.
8. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack before you frost it
9. Mix the softened butter with the icing sugar and then add the cream cheese, beat it all together on a medium speed until it is all light and fluffy (beware of the icing sugar cloud!)
10. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. I just did the top so that it would resemble the iconic black and white Guinness pint
Enjoy, let me know how you got on!