Every Tuesday, I go in to Gathering Together Farm to hang around the restaurant kitchen, taking photos of the week’s new menu. When I rolled in this week, one of the kitchen staff quickly escorted me to the back, insisting that he had something that he urgently needed me to photograph. That’s when I first saw this lovely, dark cake. Two members of the kitchen crew had birthdays this week, so the GTF pastry chef decided to bring in a chocolate Guinness cake to celebrate. After snapping a couple quick photos, the cake was cut and passed around among the employees. Apparently they had been waiting for me to arrive and document the moment before eating the evidence.
I hadn’t really planned on blogging about this cake, but later that day I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s moist, dark, and richly flavorful. The added Guinness isn’t an afterthought or a subtle “secret” ingredient but more like the star of the show. The crumb tastes like beer but in a delicious, chocolately way, and the light touch of Bailey’s Irish Cream in the whipped cream topping adds a little boozy complexity. I asked Ana Patty (the pastry chef) if she would like to share her recipe, and lucky for us, she agreed.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
makes two 8″ round cakes
very loosely adapted from a chocolate buttermilk cake recipe in Caprial’s Desserts
for the cake:3 1/8 (1 lb) all purpose flour 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup cocoa powder 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk 2 good eggs 3 good egg yolks 2 1/2 cups Guinness beer 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons strong coffee
for the topping:1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream or other flavored syrup dark chocolate (grated) or extra cocoa powder
*This recipe can be done with or without an electric mixer.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix dry ingredients together, and make sure no lumps remain. Add the oil and buttermilk and mix until thoroughly combined. Gradually add in the eggs and egg yolks a little at a time and mix until thoroughly combined. Add in the beer, vanilla extract, and coffee mix until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very runny (the consistency of chocolate syrup).
Grease two 8-inch pans and pour in the batter. Bake. Check the cakes after 20 minutes to make sure they’re not burning. Remove the cakes from the oven when an inserted toothpick comes out clean (about 30 minutes total).
When the cakes are cool, whip the cream and then fold in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of each cake and then use a pastry brush to paint on the Bailey’s Irish Cream or flavored syrup. Sprinkle on grated dark chocolate or cocoa powder.