Wednesday, 16 August 2006

BBQ & Liquory Snicket's Unfortunate Series of Events

Don't question the title, I know it seems real silly-sounding, but pretty apt in my opinion. :D Had a great bbq today..messy, greasy but of course good. Before that, i was pretty much flustered, what with all the smses, and the online msges, & the phone calls, whilst whisking away at the stove. Was nearly going mad, but thanks so much to Kitchen on Clarendon for her easy steps for Nigella's Guinness Chocolate Cake! I was extremely excited abt this new recipe. Thought it was something very bold to do with chocolate, and great for a bbq. A very relaxed, let-your-hair-down kinda cake.

Was a little unsure at first abt the simplicity and seemingly lazy steps of the batter-making process but all ended well, at my own belief. After taking a gulp of guinness, i forgot to measure 240ml for the cake batter & poured the whole can in instead (this was an additional 70ml of stout). Of course, in my hurry, I only realised this after putting the cake in the oven and could do nothing to salvage the situation except pray very very very hard. How could I ruin the cake before the bbq (sth i was organising) even began?! The result was pretty ok though. The taste was still great. Sweet, dark and lusciously rich chocolate, with deep undertones of stouty bitterness. It came out very well on the tongue, where the flavours melded very well together and unfurled smoothly on your palate. Very pleasant indeed. The extra stout only served to contribute to an already damp cake, and increased its general fudgyness. So overall, I'd still say i did not screw this up! Something I'd definitely do on another special occasion, even christmas!

p/s the cream cheese icing was superb. the next time I do it though, i'd try adding a few drops of lemon juice though, just the zang it up a bit! you can get the recipe on Kitchen on Clarendon's webbie, or get it here, below with my own messy directions tt worked out just fine! enjoy!!

250ml Guinness (or the whole 320ml can)
1 cup unsalted butter
rounded 1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
140ml sour cream (light)
2 eggs
1 tbs vanilla essence
2 1/4cup plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
250g cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup icing sugar (i deviated from the original recipe by 1/2 cup cos i couldn't really get the sweetness)
125ml pure cream

Preheat 180dCelsius. Grease and LINE with waxed parchment a 23cm springform.
Pour Guinness in saucepan. Heat slightly and added sliced butter. Heat till the butter has fully melted, stirring constantly & remove.
Sift in cocoa, pour in sugar & whisk.

In another bowl, beat sour cream till smooth. Beat in eggs & vanilla. Pour cocoa stout mixture slowly into this bowl. Sift in flour & soda, beat. Be careful here as it's a pretty wet batter & might slosh over the bowl. Use a large one to ensure a clean kitchen!
Bake for 45min-1hr. (I baked at 180dC for close to 50min & baked another 10min at 190dC)
Leave to cool in tin for round 15min, remove the springform sides and cool completely. Note that this is a very damp cake and you'll have to be extra gentle with it.

Icing: Beat cream cheese. Sift icing sugar and beat till nice & smooth. Add cream and beat till spreading consistency. Then decorate the cake to your heart's desire!
I used raspberries & cherries for the top to add a little colour and to match the summer tropical heat. :D

Serve nicely chilled after lots of sensationally greasy bbq-grilled meat & potatoes, with cold beer.
Follow this up with crazy chit chat, drinking games, lots of ice cream & good ol' fun.

To the guys out there : thanks for loving my cake. Had such a great time...hopefully ppl will start lookin me up in birmingham & stop hanging around london? ;)


sam said...

hiya sweetie! the cake looks really nice and moist despite your initial fears *or isit just the genius of the canon ixus? :p kidding..* its nice to know that you're still enjoying your baking and all. Please make FULL use of your oven while u still have one.. Believe me, the convectional microwave oven SO does not work the same.. I really do miss our DIVANA days and hope our lovely partnership will be revived in days to come :) Im making tiramisu for my cell group on fri! yayee~!

Cee said...

Mmm, looks gorgeous. I'm glad the extra liquid didn't do any damage! Love the berries you added to the top.

Guz said...

Whoa, I like this blog!! I'm starving for candy already!

jenjen said...

I laughed when I read the title of your post. I also titled one of my earlier posts Lemony Crickets, a series of unfortunate events. It sounds pretty lame but I thought it was funny at the time.
Your cake looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous.

diva. said...

hi guys! glad my blog has appealed to some :D i'm sure working harder to create even more excitingly delicious pieces, so stay tuned