With Easter and St. Patrick’s Day being so close together this year, we thought it would be very appropriate to combine our chocolate fix with some classic Irish stout! This deliciously fudgy cake is popular with our wedding couples… as well as everyone else who tastes it! The stout flavour is subtle here – the sugar counteracts any bitterness. Head Chef Phil tells us it will last for a couple of days in an airtight container, but we can’t imagine that anyone could keep it around for long!
250g unsalted butter
80g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
280g plain flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
For the frosting:
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature or softened
300g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of a 23cm (9″) springform tin with baking parchment.
2. Pour the stout 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 dry ingredients for the cake into a large bowl. With a hand-held electric whisk, pour the contents of the pan into the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined.
4. Pour the batter into the lined 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 transfer from the tin onto a wire rack.
5. Ensure the cake is cold to touch before frosting it, otherwise the frosting will melt. Mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter left and it is fully combined with the sugar. Add the cream cheese and mix well, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.
6. Place the cooled cake on to a cake stand and spread generously with the cream cheese frosting. Decorate with Mini Eggs and chocolate curls for Easter!