I’m traveling in Peru this week and therefore, four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, and all that March holiday schtick is not so front-of-my-mind. Rather, I’m afloat in a sea of ceviche and pisco and relying far too heavily on mediocre high school Spanish skills, which amounts to little more than ¿Dónde está el baño? and every fathomable dirty word.
But a few weeks back I made a cake and promised myself I’d share it with you in time for a little St. Pat’s cheer. St. Patrick’s Day has never received much love in my kitchen, but this cake made me see the error of my tastes. I fear that now I’ll never be able to make another chocolate cake without a heavy pour of stout.
This cake started as a glimmer of an idea one early morning in the shower. I tend to do my best recipe writing between the lather of shampoo and conditioner. My mind must empty of all its clutter under a shower head, creating some much needed room for the creativity and daydreaming we all have so little time for.
First they were brownies, then a cake that needed something, then a cake that needed mint. Then, three weeks and two mediocre false starts later, it was a chocolate Guinness bundt cake with a hearty handful of chopped Andes candies.
I’ve been noodling the idea of baking with Guinness for some time now, and though that’s hardly a groundbreaking idea these days, I do think this recipe offers a little something the multitude of others do not. It has a deep deep chocolate flavor, an intensely moist crumb, and to lighten up all that glorious goo, a gentle kiss of mint.
So go ahead. Enjoy the green and the schtick with a big slice of this cake. I’ll be back soon with a full Peru report, but until then — Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Chocolate Minty Guinness Bundt
For the cake:
- 1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup best quality unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tbs cider or white vinegar
- 1 Tb vanilla
- 1 cup mint candies (like Andes), chopped
For the glaze:
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to coat the bottoms and sides completely.
- In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the cup of stout to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. In a large liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the reduced Guinness with the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk well to combine.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and whisk thoroughly to combine and break up any lumps. Fold in the mint candies and pour the batter into bundt. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before turning out onto a serving plate.
- In a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the 4 oz of bittersweet chocolate over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of Guinness, butter, and salt. Pour the chocolate glaze over the cake, letting it ooze down the sides, and serve.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 50 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12