Sweet treats for all tastes
Maybe there’s some left over Guinness in the fridge after St Patrick’s Day? Chocolate Guinness cake is a great way of repurposing it! This rich, and moist cake is so simple to make. The small amount of Guinness used is just enough to give a really sweet, malty taste, and topped with the cream cheese frosting, it really balances out the flavours.
If you feel like something a little lighter, why not try a fruit pavlova? This colorful, classic dessert is fresh, zesty and light – the perfect springtime dessert. You can, of course, use any fresh fruit you like, but I love the classic kiwi.
These two recipes are both easy to follow, and are guaranteed to put smiles on faces.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
What you need
- 250 ml Guinness
- 250g margarine
- 80g best cocoa powder
- 400g caster sugar
- 140 ml sour cream
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 275g plain flour
- 2½ teaspoons bread soda
For the frosting
- 300 grams cream cheese
- 150 grams icing sugar
- 125 ml double cream (or whipping cream)
What you do
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF. Butter and line a 23cm/9-inch springform tin.
Grab yourself a wide-bottomed heavy saucepan. Pour the Guinness into the saucepan, add the margarine, and keep on a very low heat until the margarine has melted. Once the fat has melted, turn the heat off, and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, malty, dark mixture. Finally whisk in the flour and bread soda.
The mixture will seem quite runny, but that’s ok. Pour the cake mixture into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Check if the cake is baked after 45mins, by simply inserting a metal skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, then the cake is baked through. If in doubt, give it a few more minutes. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
Once the cake is cold, turn it out onto a cake stand. Make your cream cheese frosting by whipping the cream cheese until smooth, then sieve in the icing sugar. Then add the cream and whisk again until it’s quite spreadable. Then, using a palette knife, ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the creamy top of the black stuff.
Springtime Kiwi Pavlova
What you need
- 6 free range eggs, separated
- 270g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300ml double cream
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 3 golden kiwifruit, peeled, thinly sliced
What you do
Preheat the oven to 120°C. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off any excess. Mark a 24cm-diameter circle on the foil.
Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and sugar has dissolved. Add the cornflour, vinegar, vanilla and whisk until just combined. Spoon the meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide. Smooth the sides and the top to form the pavlova.
Bake for one-and-a-half hours or until the pavlova is dry to the touch. Leave to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer your pavlova to serving plate. To assemble, simply whip your double cream adding two tablespoons of icing sugar and spoon on the top of the pavlova. Decorate the pavlova with some kiwi slices.
Terisina Fitzpatrick is a Westport-based artisan baker specialising in cakes, cupcakes, occasion and wedding cakes. She currently teaches Back to Basics in Bakery classes in the Westport area. For more information, call Terisina on 087 6492754.