Picking a cake for the CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) is always tricky – he’s definitely my toughest customer! He struggles with anything too sweet; the definition of “struggles” in this context is a strange array of squeaks and hiccups whilst muttering “too sweet” in between gasps for air. So that rules out anything with buttercream or icing.
The CCD is rather partial to fruit cake and a drop of the hard stuff, but I seem to have exhausted all the fruit cakes using brandy and rum – it was time for something different: Guinness!
Many Guinness cake recipes team it with chocolate but I feared this would induce hiccupping and – trust me – it’s best avoided!
This cake is adapted from a Mark Hix recipe, the original of which can be found here. I removed the zest (can’t abide zest in things) then added sultanas and a sugar topping. The photo of the cake looked a little dry so I added an extra egg and found I also needed a tiny bit more Guinness to get it to the wet batter I desired. Even with those additions it was still a light and crumbly cake. The sugar crust topping worked particularly well:
I didn’t tell my eaters what the ‘mystery’ ingredient was – they narrowed it down to something beery but no one guessed Guinness. The Guinness adds depth of flavour and almost a tang to the cake but isn’t that strong irony taste that you experience when you drink it. I don’t like drinking Guinness but I could eat this cake all day long!
Happy fathers’ day CCD!
450g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
225g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
150ml Guinness, plus extra if needed
For the topping: 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/fan oven 140˚C/320˚F/gas mark 3.
Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper, ensuring that the paper comes a good 4-5cm above the height of the tin.
Mix together the flour, sugar, nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon in a bowl.
Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles grainy breadcrumbs. You can do this in the food processor but ensure you pulse so the mixture stays crumb-like.
Stir in the sultanas.
Mix in the eggs and Guinness until well combined. If the batter seems dry add a dash more Guinness until you achieve a wet, but still firm, batter.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took 1 hour 10 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin, on a wire rack until the tin is cool enough to handle – then you can de-tin the cake and leave to cool completely on the wire rack.
Serve at room temperature with cream or simply a good cup of tea!
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.