I don’t really need to tell you that December is a busy month. It’s just a time of year that literally everyone is busy.
For example this week there was a birthday, my sister arrived from America to visit, a Christmas fair, and tomorrow we still have a birthday party to attend!
Then Sunday I am making and baking the stuff I didn't get to do because I was sick.
Oh and there is that!
This time of year is rife with germs! Tonsillitis is always fun to have. I was told if I couldn't swallow water then I’d have to be hospitalized because my tonsils were that swollen.
I’m still taking the antibiotics for it; the nurse gave me a 10-day course. I have never in my life been given 10 days worth of antibiotics!
Anyway going back to that birthday earlier this week. My father-in-law celebrated his 60th birthday with dinner and bowling! Even though, due to various reasons I didn't get to attend, I did get a cake to him just in the nick of time!
I was told that it was absolutely delicious!
He is and always has been, as long as I've known him, to be a huge chocolate fan and has always enjoyed a drink. So, a Guinness Cake was a perfect fit!
Chocolate Guinness Cake
250ml (9fl oz) Guinness
250g (9oz) unsalted butter
80g (3oz) cocoa powder
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
140ml (5fl oz) buttermilk
280g (10oz) plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened
300g (10½oz) icing sugar
125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
23cm (9in) diameter cake tin (mine was a 10in)
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment.
2. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk by hand in a jug or bowl, and then add this to the mixture in the pan.
3. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin on to a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.
5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter and it is fully combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix in a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
6. Place the cooled cake on to a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. The cake can be decorated with a light dusting of cocoa powder.