As you know, I love trying new things with chocolate, and I usually have no difficulty in finding taste testers. Occasionally though, the experiments can start to pile up.
These bars certainly looked pretty – the dark 70% chocolate tempered beautifully, and I’d stirred through leftover candied rind, almond slivers and glacé ginger. But the flavours were a bit too intense, and after a month or so of sitting in the choccy box, the bars were looking scuffed and a little worse for wear…
So I blitzed them up in the food processor, and used them in our Guinness chocolate cake…
We first blogged about this cake years ago, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s a firm family favourite!
My revised ingredients list for this version is as follows (I’ve copied the instructions below to save you flicking between posts – the original post has detailed photos):
- 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 375g (1¾ cups) soft dark brown sugar
- 4 large (59g) free range eggs
- 250g (12/3 cups) plain (AP) flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
- 440ml can of Guinness, at room temperature
- 1 cup (110g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
- 200g surplus dark chocolate, finely ground
1. Preheat oven to 160C (325F) with fan. Spray a 15-cup bundt pan with canola oil spray (or other vegetable oil, just not olive or rice bran oil).
2. Grind the chocolate up in a food processor. Pulse the chocolate until finely crumbled, but be careful not to heat it up too much, or it will melt.
3. In medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, sifted bicarb soda and sifted cocoa. Note that you really do need to sift the bicarb and cocoa, or you’ll end up with bitter lumps in your finished cake. Stir in blitzed chocolate.
4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Add some of the flour mixture to the batter and mix well. Then add in some Guinness and mix again to combine. Continue in this fashion, alternating flour and stout, making sure you finish with a reasonable amount of flour at the end. The mix may appear to curdle, but the final addition of flour will smooth it out again. Beat until the batter is thoroughly mixed – it will be quite soft.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If you’re using a smaller bundt pan, fill to two-thirds full and pour the remaining batter into muffin tins or small loaf pans.
7. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly. If you’re making little cakes as well, remember that they’ll bake much faster – start checking muffin sized cakes after about 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let the cake rest for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
(from Jamie Oliver’s Return of the Naked Chef)
- 100g/3 ¾ oz butter
- 100g/3 ¾ oz best cooking chocolate
- 100g /3 ¾ oz icing sugar (sifted)
- 3 tablespoons milk
Melt the chocolate topping ingredients in a bowl over some lightly simmering water. Stir until blended well and allow to cool slightly. Pour over cake and allow to set.
. . . . .
Since writing the original post in 2009, I’ve acquired a full-sized 15-cup bundt tin which comfortably accommodated all the batter (it’s too much for the smaller 10-cup bundts). As a result, the cake took slightly longer to bake – about 70 minutes…
The finished cake was spectacularly dark – a product of the higher cacao chocolate in the reject bars combined with the Guinness. The icing provided just enough sweetness to balance out the flavours, and the small pieces of candied rind, ginger and almonds added a surprise to every slice. By day three, the essential oils from the rind had seeped through the crumb, giving the cake a lovely choc-orange flavour.
I think (because it’s hard to be objective about these things) that it was one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever made…
My blitzed chocolate bars produced nearly 400g of crumbs, and I’ve tucked the leftovers into the freezer for a repeat bake. It was lovely not to have to waste them!