I discovered a green deficiency in my wardrobe this morning and decided to make an Irish-themed cake to avoid the St. Patty’s pinching-vigilantes. A couple friends were coming over for tea shortly, so I selected the cake on my friend Katty’s blog, which looked easy and festive.
After a quick mix in one bowl (love that!), my kitchen filled with the best aroma in the world: baking chocolate. As the cake cooled, I whipped up an addictive batch of Bailey’s-spiked cream cheese glaze (which I was sorely tempted to dye bright green). The deep chocolate cake baked up fluffy and boxed-mix-perfect, while the Bailey’s icing pushed it over the edge into venial sin.
If you’re looking for a delicious way to commemorate the holiday, you can hardly do better than combining Guinness, chocolate, Bailey’s, coffee, and cream cheese. Granted, binge-drinking frat boys would probably contend otherwise.
In any case, happy St. Patrick’s Day!
(Adapted from Katty’s Kitchen)
Guinness Chocolate Cake
-1/2 c. raw (demerera) sugar (or sub. white sugar)
-1/2 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
-scant 1 c. all-purpose flour
-scant 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
-3/4 tsp. baking powder
-3/4 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. instant coffee or instant espresso granules, optional (or sub. 1/4 c. strong brewed coffee for 1/4 c. of the milk)
-1/2 c. milk
-1/4 c. vegetable oil
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 tsp. Bailey’s liqueur
-1/2 c. Guinness (full disclosure: I successfully substituted dark German beer, because I couldn’t find Guinness at my local market. St. Patty promptly rolled in his grave.)
1. Grease and flour (or use cocoa powder) an 8×8-in. square or 8-in. round pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (except for the instant coffee).
3. Pour the Guinness into a small saucepan and add the instant coffee granules, if using. Bring just to a boil.
4. Stir the egg, milk, oil, Bailey’s, and vanilla extract into the dry mixture. Gradually whisk in the Guinness-coffee mixture. The batter will be somewhat thin.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan (I used a springform) and bake on the middle rack for 30-35 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
Bailey’s Cream Cheese Glaze
-2/3 c. (150g) cream cheese
-2 Tbsp. butter
-2 Tbsp. Bailey’s liqueur
-2 1/2 c. powdered sugar, preferably sifted
-pinch of salt
-1/4 tsp. lemon juice, optional
Whip the butter, cream cheese, and Bailey’s together with a mixer. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated, smooth, and fluffy. Adjust sweetness to taste with salt and lemon, if using. Chill until ready to use.
Make sure your cake is fully cooled before icing. Place cake on a rack over a flat surface that has been covered with foil or wax paper. Pour 1/4 of the glaze over the center of the cake and allow to drizzle down the sides. Add more glaze as desired (I had about 1/3 leftover). Garnish with chopped nuts, if you like.
Have time to get fancy? Split the cake into two layers and sandwich some of Smitten Kitchen’s Irish whiskey chocolate ganache in the middle.