Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake via Breakfast by the Sea Blog

There’s a small chain of Brighton-based coffee shops called Ground, who serve some of the finest coffee in Brighton. That is where I got my first taste of Chocolate Guinness cake. 

The cake is designed to take on the classic look of a pint of Guinness, with its rich dark brown bottom and fluffy white top. But it contains Guinness too – and that is what gives it its beautifully moist texture. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste of beer.

One of the best recipes I’ve found is this one by Nigella Lawson, laden with butter, sugar and topped with a vanilla cream cheese topping. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted, but then this is a celebration cake, so I think its ok to push the boat out every once in a while!

And if you don’t fancy making your own and happen to be visiting Brighton, I can’t recommend Ground highly enough.

All photography © Heather Elizabeth Wilkinson 2013


Beef bourguignon pie

This a great pie to make when you’ve got some spare time available, as the meat will need to slow cook so that it melts in the mouth.  Perfect for rainy winter days when you just want to stay tucked up at home, even better if accompanied by a glass of red wine or beer.

Serves 6
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: approx 3 hours

You will need

2 tablespoons olive oil
600g braising steak, cut up into medium chunks
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped into small pieces
25g plain flour
500ml red wine
400ml beef stock (2 small stock cubes)
1 few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 250g pack of cubed pancetta
250g of chestnut mushrooms cut into wedges
350g short crust pastry
1 egg beaten

1.)Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the beef until browned all over, then remove from the pan and set aside.

2.)In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft.

3.)Roll the browned meat in flour and then add it to the pan with the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.

4.)Next, add the red wine, beef stock, sprigs of rosemary and the bayleaf to the pan. Keep stirring the mixture until it is boiling, turn down the heat and, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour.

5.)In a separate pan, fry the pancetta, red onions and mushrooms together for 2-3 minutes and then add them to the beef pan. Stir, cover and then simmer for another hour.

6.)Next, remove the lid and cook down for 30 minutes (this should cook off some of the liquid so you’re left with a thickened gravy) and then add to your pie dish. At this stage you can remove the sprigs of rosemary and the bay leaf.

7.)Preheat the oven to 200oC, fan 180oC, gas 6. Roll out the pastry to about ¾ cm thick. You want your pastry lid to hang generously over the side of your pie tin to allow for shrinkage in the oven.

8.)Carefully place your pastry over the top of the pie mixture and dish. Trim the pastry edges and then brush with beaten egg (this will give the pie a lovely golden sheen).

9.)Bake your pie for around 30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden. Serve with mashed potatoes (or even parsley mash)

Click here for printable version of the recipe.