In My Little Book of Recipes

A few weeks ago we were having an international dinner party in Belgium. We had German starters, Hungarian main courses, Lithuanian drinks and that left Irish desserts. AnnMarie had the Irish coffees sorted, but that left me stuck for a “traditional” Irish cake. Now I know a good old fashioned apple tart or rhubarb crumble might’ve done the trick, but I decided to challenge myself and make the infamous Chocolate Guinness Cake!

I was very sceptical at first, but surprisingly enough, it turned out to be absolutely amazing. I don’t even like Guinness, but I appreciated the little kick it gave the cake! Although it’s very rich (and I’m a fan of all things chocolate) so best go for small slices and work your way up. I was still eating away at the cake for days afterwards. Not that doing such was even remotely a bad thing…

Anyway, enjoy 🙂

(Also – this is a Nigella Lawson recipe. That woman is a kitchen hero.)


70g cocoa
250g butter
400g caster sugar
140ml sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
275g plain flour
250ml Guinness
2.5 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.


300g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125ml double cream


1.Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter and line a 23cm tin.
2.Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter – in spoons or slices – and heat until the butter’s melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
3. Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
4. When the cake’s cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.

5.  Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint


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