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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Recently, I've been feeling weary, tired and even exhausted. There seem to be so much to do at work, at home and even the various things I have committed myself to. Have I overdone it? Could I have done better? I'm not sure but all I know is, I'm trying to repay back my overdue debts bit by bit. So please bear with me if I haven't baked that cake or cooked that other dish. 

Thank goodness that I'm going to have a good break to rejuvenate as well as to have a clean slate of things in my life. I'm so looking forward to the break :) A 'me' break. Time to clean, do things that I love, breathe the air that I want to breathe.

Without saying further, did I mention that we are five today? Yes, we as The Cake Slice Bakers! What did you do or celebrate when you were five? Did you remember? I had no recollection whatsoever save for the birthday cake picture I had when I was five. It was nothing fancy but for sure, I did enjoy the cake. I remember posing for it with a pretty pink dress ;) To me, nothing beats the taste of a good cake rather than a pretty cake actually.

Tish Boyle's The Cake Book was the book that we baked from in our fourth year. Then I hadn't joined The Cake Slice yet. Nevertheless, I did get the book as I loved many of the recipes baked by Tish Boyle but to be honest, so far I have only baked one recipe from this book. It was delicious no doubt. I will try to bake more delectable recipes from this book.

I decided to choose to bake this chocolate guinness cake by Tish Boyle. To many, I believe that guinness stout is usually associated with St. Patrick's Day or just an after-work drink to chill out with friends. Since I don't drink, I'm more keen on how it marries together with chocolate. As usual, see my modifications in blue below.

Makes one 9-inch cake or 2 7-inch cakes, serving 10
Storage: in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups (7.4 oz/212 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2.2 oz/61 g) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
21 tablespoons (2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons/10.5 oz/298 g) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups (17.2 oz/488 g) 250g firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (one 12-oz bottle/360 ml) Guinness stout (do not include foam when measuring)
1 cup (4 oz/114 g) coarsely chopped pecans
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting cake

Method:
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter x 3-inch high cake pan or springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess. The lazy me just used a bake spray to spray and spread the oil all around. No flour dusting of that sorts. Yes, that's just me @@
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. 
  4. Gradually add the brown sugar and beat at high speed until very light and creamy, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally. 
  6. Beat in the vanilla extract. 
  7. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating it with the stout in two additions and mixing just until blended. 
  8. Add the pecans and mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir it by hand a few times with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is evenly blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer.
  9. Bake the cake for 65 to 70 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. I baked mine for about 65 minutes with fan forced function. Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 20 minutes.
  10. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.
  11. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
I omitted the whipped cream recipe given by Tish Boyle but you may try if you wish.

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment (or by hand with a whisk if you’re feeling peppy), whip the cream with the brown sugar and vanilla at high speed until soft peaks form. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

I had a 'sneak peek aka sneak nom' of the cake. Honestly, the chocolate infused with the guinness flavour was pretty awesome. You can smell both flavours but yet, they don't overpower your tastebuds. The chopped pecans tasted crunchy and has this awesome nutty flavour that made me go 'WOW'. If you know me well, you would know that I'm not a nut person. Yeah I can eat them but I don't NEED them literally. So I was pleasantly surprised by this pecan addition in this cake. Mr G just kept going yum....in between the soft morsels of cake and the crunchy pecans. He was like, yeah I taste chocolate and ooh I also taste guinness stout. They go very nice together yah. Urm hmm!! :):) 

Check out my picture below. Sorry if this picture makes you think of anything lesser than a celebration. I don't have any candles at home (yes we eat cakes without any unless there's a birthday cake that we ordered from the shop) so I thought an earnest looking cake that is sliced would be good enough. 



YAY!! We are five today!! To many more FIVEs together, fellow CSBs!!



On a lighter note, the start of August marks the end of July. July was fun hosting Cook like a Star with Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out. We had so many blog hops for this month which is a great thing and I hope Curtis Stone will be pleased to see so many families cooking at home healthily with his recipes :) Do join us for our next blog hop for August with Nigella Lawson :):):):)

I'm also submitting this post to AlphaBakes organized by The More than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes and hosted by The More than Occasional Baker this month.


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