Beer? Good. Cake? Good. Beer and cake? Better. Beer IN cake? …there isn’t even a word for how good that is!
Something we’ve been getting lost in recently are food blogs that use beer in cooking and baking; picking beers with qualities and flavours that compliment whatever delicious food stuffs are being concocted. And seeing as we did that Unforgiven pulled pork recipe a while back, we decided to continue experimenting!
Our resident baker, Shannon, has made a few chocolate beer cakes in the past using Black IPA’s like our own In The Dark We Live, so this time she used Red Eye Flight to make a deliciously moist, dark chocolate cake covered in dark chocolate ganache.
“Red Eye Flight is what I call our dessert beer; it’s rich and super chocolatey and has lots of dark fruity espresso and caramel, toffee notes. All of those things sounds perfect for a chocolate cake! The coffee notes especially from Steampunk’s Fazenda Pantano beans really darken and deepen the chocolate flavour, because the cake batter recipe has no actual chocolate in it…you wouldn’t believe it though when you taste it!”
We’re going to stop talking now and get to the recipe! There is a recipe both for the cake itself, and a quick, simple recipe for chocolate ganache to smother all over the cake.
Red Eye Flight Chocolate Cake
- 250ml Red Eye Flight (you’ll even have a little left over for yourself during baking!)
- 85g cocoa powder
- 250g unsalted butter or margarine
- 400g caster sugar
- 140ml buttermilk (If you can’t find any at the supermarket, 140ml of milk with a spoonful of vinegar mixed in and left for a while at room temperature works just as well)
- 2 eggs
- Splash of vanilla
- 280g Self Raising flour
- A pinch of baking powder
- Preheat to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3
- Put the beer and the butter in a pan and heat until the butter has melted, whisk occasionally to ensure they blend together.
- Take it off the heat, and whisk in the sugar. Then add the cocoa powder and whisk till incorporated.
- Mix the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together in a jug then add that to the chocolatey liquid.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquid and whisk until incorporated. The batter will be very liquidy, as it’s a very moist cake so don’t fret about the consistency!
- Prepare a bundt pan by buttering and flouring it (the flour adds an extra layer otherwise half the cake will be in the pan! Or if you don’t own a bundt pan, prepare three shallow cake tins and split batter evenly. I did 20 minutes in the oven, then another 15 and then about that time if they’re not totally ready only another 5 minutes.
Once the cake is springy, plunge a knife gently into the centre, if it comes out clean the cake is ready.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 200g Dark Chocolate
- 200ml Double Cream
- Put the cream in a microwaveable jug and place in the microwave on high. When the cream is bubbling, it’s ready.
- Break the chocolate into individual squares in a plastic bowl. Pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate.
- Start mixing with a spoon, the chocolate will start to melt and blend into the cream. Keep stirring well, scraping the chocolate off the bottom of the bowl with the spoon until both ingredients are fully incorporated.
- You’ll know it’s ready when there are no lumps, it has a thick pudding like consistency, and is wonderfully shiny.
Try the recipe for yourself and send us a photo! If you have any other ideas for recipes, do send them along and we’ll test them out. Next time we’re thinking maybe Long White Cloud soft pretzels? Harvest IPA beer muffins? Mmm…we’re getting hungry already!