Chocolate Beer Cake

This is one of my favourite Delia recipes and is my boyfriends choice every birthday – “but dont you want to try something new?” I ask every year. And I always get the same reply – “why would I want anything else when this cake includes my two favourite things – Beer & Chocolate??”…

So I should share it, the way to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach… Enjoy!

Ingredients:
50g cocoa powder
200ml stout
110g very soft butter
275g dark soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
110g icing sugar, sifted
50g very soft butter
2 tablespoons stout
110g dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
25g walnut pieces, finely chopped

To decorate:
8 walnut halves
cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 x 8-inch (20cm) sponge tins, 4cm deep. Line the bases with lightly greased baking parchment.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, beating together thoroughly for 3 – 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  6. Weigh the cocoa and put it in a separate bowl, gradually stirring the stout into it. Now carefully and lightly fold into the egg mixture small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa-stout liquid.
  7. When fully incorporated, divide the cake mixture equally between the two tins and level out.
  8. Bake the sponges in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be flat on top and feel springy and will have shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully stripping off the base papers.
  9. To make the icing: beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition.
  10. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  11. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition. Now melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  12. Now remove a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts. After all the icing has cooled to a spreadable consistency, sandwich the cake with the walnut icing. Then spread the remaining two-thirds of the icing on top of the cake, using a palette knife. Next, dust the walnut halves with cocoa powder and arrange on top of the cake.

Seriously, although the picture looks good, it can in no way describe how yummy this cake is!

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