Have your Cake and Heat it!

Hello chilli lovers!

I’ve decided I want to bring you a sweet treat this week. I’ve been really enjoying dessert cookery again recently, but this being a chilli blog, I worry sometimes about how I can bring you sweets that will work for all palates. I was working at the local café last week, when I decided to run up one of my old classics for the cake display. I got about half way through the prep work and realised that a sweet treat for the Chilli Kitchen had been staring me in the face all along.

From way back in my early days in Bath Ales, I picked up a glorious chocolate cake recipe from the incredibly talented Craig Read, now head chef of the popular and exquisite Burger and Lobster, in Bath. This cake is cut with strong, dark stout and served with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. It’s a truly gorgeous recipe, which I’ve kept in my repertoire ever since.

I didn’t want to pollute the wonderful flavour combination too much, so I decided just to put a slant on things, which would let the chilli play an interesting role, but could also be optionally omitted if your palate didn’t agree with it. For me, it’s gorgeous, hopefully you’ll agree!

Stu’s Chocolate Stout Cake, with Bonnet Caramel

For the caramel:

  • 100ml double cream
  • 50g butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Golden Bonnet

Simply combine all of these ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil, take off the heat, stir and chill. Simple!

Sauce-edited

For the cake:

  • 250ml of stout or dark ruby beer
  • 250g butter
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 140g sour cream
  • 3tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 275g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt

First, preheat your oven to 140C (fan) 160C (conventional)

Heat the beer, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla in a pan, whisking them together till incorporated. Remove from the heat as soon as they boil. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, bicarb and cocoa and slowly pour in the beer mixture, whisking as you go. Next, add the sour cream and whisk briskly to remove any lumps. Set the batter aside to rest a moment and line a 12 inch cake tin (with a removable base) with greaseproof paper. Line the sides of the tin with a strip of greaseproof, fixed to the tin with a little butter.

Pour in the cake batter and then place the cake in the preheated oven. Bake for around 45 minutes to an hour or until a skewer, poked into the centre, comes out clean.

Once ready, allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then release the sides of the tin and allow to cool for another 10, before portioning into 12 (or a greedy 8).

cake-beauty

To serve our gorgeous cake, we just need a nice blob of vanilla ice cream, a big glug of our sexy, spicy sauce and a wedge of the cake itself. Optionally, I like to sprinkle a dash of Chipotle Salt over the plate too. To drink, obviously we’re having stout. I’m going to recommend Echigo stout, a Japanese import stout, that if you can track it down, is well worth the effort.

beauty-shot

Enjoy the sweet, sweet things!

Stu

 

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