Guinness Chocolate Cake…a.k.a Best Cake Ever

We all LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake. I make this at least a few times a year.  This is another Nigella recipe (from her book Feast) and it is my favourite.  It is a delicious dense dark moist chocolate cake topped with a very creamy smooth cream cheese icing.

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Preheat your oven to 180C, which I think is 350F.  Start with a can of Guinness.  This is what happens if you are unprepared when you open it and don’t have a pot ready to pour it in. I lost a little bit.

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Pour the can of Guinness (250ml) into a pot and add butter (250g) heat until melted.  I just realized, while typing this, that I just poured in the whole can. I think that was quite a bit more than I needed.  Which explains why the batter was wetter than I remembered it being and it took longer to bake.  But it turned out amazing!

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Add sugar (400g) and cocoa powder (75g)

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Whisk this together while heating

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Take that off the stove and let cool a couple of minutes, in a separate bowl whisk together 142ml sour cream, 2 eggs and 1Tbsp vanilla

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Pour that mixture into the chocolatey beer mixture.

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To that add 275g of flour and 2&1/2 tsp baking soda

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Pour batter into prepared (greased with a round of parchment lining the bottom) springform pan (8 or 9″)

Place the pan on a cookie sheet, just in case of leakage.

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Bake for about 45-60 minutes until done. Don’t worry about the cracks in the top, those nooks and crannies will get filled with the delicious cream cheese icing.

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Let cool completely before icing.  Once the cake was at room temperature I wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight and did the icing the next day.

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The cream cheese icing is amazing but very simple.  Beat together 300g room temperature cream cheese with 150g icing sugar and 125ml whipping cream.  I used a little less that that amount of whipping cream as I found the icing was getting too liquid.  Use your judgement.

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Dollop the icing on top of the cake and spread to the edges.

It kind of looks like a pint of Guinness!

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I think this cake would also be great without the icing or just a sifting of icing sugar.

Caramilk Brownies

I thought this would be a good recipe to post for Valentine’s Day recipe. I rarely post what I intend to for a particular holiday. I usually make things in a hurry and forget to take pictures, or get busy and do not post. This is my valentine post, early!! This never happens. It is only happening now because I was going to the gym, instead I decided I should make brownies with pieces of Caramilk bar inside. Maybe I will make it to the gym tomorrow and run a little while longer.

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Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9″X13″ pan.

1 cup of pecans (optional).  If you are using the pecans spread them on a cookie sheet and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes.  Coarsely chop.  I didn’t use pecans this time but they are very good with the pecans.

Coarsely chop 4oz of unsweetened chocolate, combine with 2/3 cup of butter.

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Microwave until melted.  Keep an eye on it and stir every now and then.  Should take about 2 minutes.

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(I love taking pictures of chocolate)

Cool chocolate until lukewarm, and then stir in 1 & 1/2 cups sugar, 3 eggs and 1 & 1/4 tsp vanilla.

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Gradually stir in 1 cup of all purpose flour.

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Break up 2 family size Cadbury Caramilk Bars (I think that is about 200g total).  Give or take a square or two (maybe 3), ok I ate a few.

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(more pretty chocolate pictures)

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Stir the Caramilk pieces and pecans, if using, into the batter. Spread evenly into pan.

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Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  DO NOT OVERBAKE!  Keep checking on it, very important that it doesn’t over bake.  I baked for about 22 minutes and I think that was a little too long.

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Melt 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips with 1/2 cup table cream, stirring.  Once all melted and creamy spread over the warm brownies.

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Let cool completely.  Then cut into squares.  Try not to eat too many at once.

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Snowballs

I should call these cookies Newfoundland snowballs.

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These are cookies that I grew up eating and Evie loves them now.  I haven’t met anyone that didn’t like them.  I made a batch recently and shared with a few people.  They are really easy, no bake and quick to make with few ingredients.

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The coconut used is fine or medium desiccated unsweetened coconut.

Put the first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan and melt stirring to combine.

Into another bowl add the next 3 ingredients and mix to combine.

Add the melted butter mixture to the oat mixture and mix.  Let this cool, I usually put it in the fridge for about half an hour until it will hold shape when rolled into balls.

Roll into balls and then roll in coconut.  That is it!

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These also freeze well and are good in the freezer for a few months.  Sometimes I freeze them and eat straight out of the freezer.

Wild Blueberry Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce

We went to pick some blueberries, they just grow on a little hill right next to the house.  We probably picked about 4 cups, the blueberries here are wild and plentiful, extra sweet and tasty too.  We wanted to make something out of them, but not muffins.  We chose this recipe because I haven’t had it in a long time and Evie really likes it.  This is a traditional Newfoundland recipe.

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we used about 1 and 1/2cups blueberries

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mix together 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar

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add 1 egg and mix then add about 1 to 1 and 1/2  cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder and mix until combined

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add milk (about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup) while mixing so it is thick and creamy like cake batter.

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then add the blueberries and  fold in

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then place in an 8 inch square baking pan and bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes until dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

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While the cake is baking you can make the brown sugar sauce.

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place 2 tbsp butter melted and 2 tbsp flour in a small pot and whisk while heating

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Whisk in 1 cup brown sugar (it will be dry and thick)

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then add 1 cup of boiling water and 1 tsp vanilla whisking and heating bring to boil and whisk until it thickens to a syrupy brown sauce

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Serve the warm sauce drizzled over a piece of the cake

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Raspberry Jam

Raspberry picking is hard work.  We picked a few raspberries, just over a pint.  I didn’t want any more that that because they go bad really fast and I don’t like raspberry seeds in my teeth.  So, we used a pint of berries to make a small batch of jam to keep in the fridge and use over the next couple of weeks.  It has a beautiful deep raspberry colour and smells great too.  Even though there are seeds I do like the jam.

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Raspberry Jam

2 cups fresh raspberries

1 cup sugar

1tbsp lemon juice

1&1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

In a small saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly and mashing berries with the spoon.  Boil hard, skimming off any foam and stirring frequently, until slightly reduced and thickened…about 5 minutes.  Pour into a container, preferably glass, and let cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.