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Chocolate and Guinness Cake 

I first sampled this amazing cake – and I mean amazing – at my friend Jo Choi’s place for dinner. She is a fantastic cook and I knew we were in for a treat and this blew us all away – even the ones without a sweet tooth. It has a depth from the Guinness beer that is hard to describe – malty almost – and is light at the same time, particularly with the fluffy, creamy icing. The recipe is based on a Nigella Lawson cake, yet Jo likes to add slightly more Guinness and sour cream to prevent the cake from being too sweet, and a little extra fluffy cream for the icing.
Recipe provided by Jo Choi.

Pictured: Chocolate and Guinness Cake

300ml Guinness - if you intend to drink the remainder, the can is far tastier then the bottle as it has the award winning widget to keep the beer smooth and creamy.
250g unsalted butter
80g/¾ cup cocoa
400g/1 ¾ cup caster sugar
150ml sour cream
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
275g/1 ½ cups plain
2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Icing -
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
150g icing sugar, sifted
175ml thickened cream – not double cream as it is too rich, yet you are looking for a thicker cream than pouring or single cream.

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Butter and line a 23cm spring-form tin.

Measure out all ingredients first - In a wide saucepan, melt the butter in the Guinness, once melted remove from heat, then add the cocoa and sugar and whisk til smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla, then whisk into the beer mixture.
Whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour (sometimes more depending on your oven), til a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Do not be concerned with how runny the batter is - it will cook through evenly and sets perfectly during the cooling process in the tin - see below.
Let cool in the tin - do not turn out til it is cool or the cake will fall apart.

Icing - whip the cream cheese and sifted icing sugar together, then beat in the cream til fluffy and can hold shape well enough to spread over the cake.

Carefully lay the cake on a serving plate and smooth icing over - the contrasting colours can make for the illusion of the icing being the froth on top of the beer!

Serves 12