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Intense Guinness Chocolate Cake


A cup of Irish stout and a pinch of fine sea salt are the key ingredients for this rich and dark chocolate cake recipe.

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Irish author and food writer Trish Deseine has included a disclaimer at the front of her most recent cookbook 100 Desserts to Die For.

“The title of this book is meant to be as tongue-in-cheek as Nigella Lawson’s cult – but initially misunderstood – cookbook How to Be a Domestic Goddess,” she writes.

“Just as Nigella had no intention of wiping out decades of feminist progress by chaining women once again to their stoves, 100 Desserts to Die For is certainly not an instruction manual for a trip to Dignitas. Its aim is rather to balance out the trend, so widespread these days, of going without dessert.”

And so in this book, Deseine supplies 100 recipes for all manner of desserts including cakes, puddings, tarts and biscuits interspersed with a good dose of her Irish humour.

Here she shares a recipe for chocolate cake made with her home country’s most famous drink, Guiness Irish stout.

Intense Guinness ® Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing and Fine Sea Salt

Here I offer a variation on the traditional cream cheese icing and its tartness with a recipe that is reminiscent of the head on a glass of Guinness ®: an all-chocolate cake with an intense flavour that is further accentuated by a few crystals of fine sea salt.


For the cake:
125 g unsalted butter
125 g lightly salted butter
250 ml Guiness
75 g (2⁄3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
150 g crème fraîche
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
275 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
350 g caster sugar


Recipe and image from ‘100 Desserts to Die For’ by Trish Desine, $39.99, Murdoch Books.

For the icing:
175 g good quality dark chocolate
75 g unsalted butter
1 pinch fine sea salt


Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the butters and beer in a saucepan over a low heat. Sift over the cocoa and gently stir. Once the butter has melted, let the mixture cool for 5–10 minutes.

Beat the eggs, crème fraîche and vanilla extract together in a mixing bowl with a whisk. Add the flour and baking powder, sifting them first, then the sugar. Finally, incorporate this mixture into the butter, Guinness and cocoa mixture.

Butter and flour a tall 24 cm round cake tin and pour in the batter. Bake for 60–75 minutes. When the cake comes out of the oven, wait for 15 minutes before turning it out. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight.

The next day, make the icing. Place all the ingredients in a bowl with 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) of water and melt them gently in a microwave or saucepan. Stir well until you have a smooth and glossy sauce, then let it cool and thicken slightly.

Place the cake on a rack and pour the chocolate icing on top. Use a flexible spatula to spread the icing all over the cake, including the side.

Let the icing dry and set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 8–10



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