Here at TWT, we try our darndest to post only the most delicious, satisfying, and failsafe recipes. However, even a food blogger can come across a dud. But THIS food blogger, ladies and gentlemen, is really committed to her craft. I tried this POS of a recipe not once, but twice–all for your amusement and education. And because I’m stubborn. And because my fiance really wanted cake.
I saw this recipe in the Washington Post (but it originally came from Nigella Lawson) and was intrigued–I like cake, but I’m not a gifted baker, so my creations often come out less than stellar. But this version had beer in it! And it was a one-pot wonder! And it had beer in it! And it was supposed to be moist and delicious! And did I mention it had beer in it???
On my first attempt, I followed the instructions to the letter and poured the copious amounts of batter into a 9″ round pan. It came milimeters from the rim, and I said to my hunny, “Honey, it’s going to spew out onto the floor of the oven and burn!” Guess what it did? Yeah. At least my kitchen stunk like burnt beer.
On my second attempt, I poured the batter into a 9 by 13 rectangular sheet pan, and everything seemed to be going according to plan. My kitchen smelled sweeter and more like a dessert I might actually like to eat. Nothing was spewing or burning. The recipe specifically said to wait till the cake was cold to remove it from the pan, so I did. Lo and behold, the damn thing stuck to the pan anyway (note: I did not have parchment paper, so that could explain some of the sticking, but I really greased the pan well, so it shouldn’t have been as bad as it was). No matter, I’m used to ugly baked goods by now. I dove into a piece of the cake, waiting for the beery revelation.
I made it through one bite and one bite only before I threw the piece into the trash. It was dry as a fart and tasted like burnt freakin’ beer. The cream cheese icing was tasty, but it didn’t cover up the flavor of failure and self-doubt. Fiance confirmed that he was just not that into the cake. When beer can’t save a dish, you know it’s time to move on. Perhaps to just drinking beer on its own instead of trying to incorporate it into desserts.
Here’s the recipe, in case you are morbidly curious or want to test your mettle by trying it out yourselves. If you do the latter, please let me know how it turns out. Clearly, I won’t be adding it to my “signature dessert” list anytime soon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter and heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and then pour into brown, buttery, beery mixture and finally whisk in flour and baking soda.
Pour cake batter into greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When cake is cold, gently peel off parchment paper and transfer to a platter or cake stand.
Place cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl, and whip with an electric beater, until smooth. Add cream and beat again until you have a spreadable consistency. Ice top of cake, starting at middle and fanning out.