In 1759, Arthur Guinness must have been bursting with confidence and optimism when he signed a 9000 year lease (that is not typo!), for the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. With an annual rent of 45 pounds that was fixed for the life of the lease, in the 1770’s he began brewing a porter style beer we all know as Guinness. It was so successful that in 1799 he stopped production of other beer styles and focused solely on porter. This lease also gave him a free water supply to make his beer. Today the Guinness factory makes three million pints a day using springwater from the nearby Wicklow Mountains which flows to the River Liffey which runs through Dublin.
Before anyone knew the word “Covid”, my husband Matthew, myself and our good friends Steve and Bonnie took a trip to Ireland. We flew into Dublin, got our car, and headed out for a week of countryside exploration. We ended up back in Dublin for two nights to do a bit of exploring before heading home. What does one do when in Dublin? Take the Guinness Tour of course!
Offering full disclosure, I was not overly excited about going on the Guinness Tour. A brewery tour… meh… I can take it or leave it. Well, this wine drinking girl can attest that the tour was amazing! It was so well done and informative with lots of history and interesting artifacts to look at. And, of course at the end of the tour we went to the Gravity Bar at the top of the factory complex, enjoyed a few pints of Guinness and the 360 degree views of Dublin. If you are in Dublin, you must take the tour!
Being in Ireland and not drinking Guinness almost seems sacrilegious. So, we did do our fair share of draught Guinness consumption while visiting the many pubs we encountered along the way. And, again full disclosure, I had never had a Guinness before going to Ireland (Yikes!). If you have never had one, you must try one. It is malty, with a hint of sweet, toasty with flavors of chocolate and coffee. And, don’t let it’s dark color fool you, it is surprisingly light, not what you would expect. Now, I’m still a wine drinker, but do enjoy Guinness on occasion and there is no better occasion in the USA than March 17th, St Patrick’s Day.
Make sure you pick up a six pack of Guinness for the big day, or better yet find a good pub where you can get one on draught… it’s really how it should be enjoyed. And, if your so inclined, make our O’Live A Little Chocolate Guinness Cake to share with friends on March 17th too! The coffee-chocolate flavor does amazing things for the cake!
Chocolate Olive Oil Guinness Cake
You can make this cake recipe as fast or as time
consuming as you would like. Here I have
given instructions for a decorated layer cake that will take a bit time and
effort. However, if you don’t have the time or desire, simply make the cake,
bake it in the springform pan, cool, remove from pan and sift a bit of powdered
sugar on it. Or. If you want to use the frosting or ganache, you can use one to ice either
just the outside top or the outside top and sides without
making it a layer cake. The cake is very good and can really stand on it’s own
with just the sprinkling of powdered sugar.
If you are making/using the ganache and want to frost the cake as soon as it is cool enough, make the ganache first so it has time to sit and come to room temp which will be the correct consistency for spreading.
1 cup Guinness
1/2 Cup O'Live A Little's Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil or and O'Live A Little Traditional Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup whole milk, luke warm (very important)
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream, luke warm (very important)
2 teaspoons vanilla Extract
11 ounces bittersweet chocolate - chopped into 1/2" pcs
11 ounces heavy cream
1 ounce room temp unsalted butter
1/2 ounce Irish Whiskey
For The Guinness Cake
For the Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
For the Irish Whiskey Chocolate Ganache
To make and assemble the cake
Heat oven to 350 degrees and using a 9" springform pan lined with parchment paper, spray with non-stick spray
Using and electric mixer, in a mixing bow, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on medium speed till combined
Add the olive oil and mix on low to combine.
Combine all the dry ingredients and add to the batter in three additions, alternating with the Guinness. Mix till just combined.
Add in the sour cream and vanilla and mix till combined.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle come out clean.
Once out of oven allow to cool for 1 hour and then remove from pan and invert on wire rack to finish cooling. While cake is baking and cooling, make frosting and ganache (if using)
To make the Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
Using an electric mixer, place butter in mixing bowl and beat until totally smooth. It's very important that the butter is not cold or cool.
Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until incorporated
Starting on low speed, gradually add the like warm milk and increase speed to incorporate the milk into the butter. Add the Vanilla
To make the Irish Whiskey Ganache
Place the chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl
On the stove top, heat the cream until its jut about to boil. Do not boil
Pour cream over chocolate and stir until melted.
Stir in the Irish Whiskey
Once the mixture is at room temperature, it will be thicken to correct consistency to spread on cake
To assemble the layer cake
Slice the cake into three layers (two horizontal cuts)
Place first layer on cake plate and spread with ganache. Top with second layer and repeat. Then place top layer.
Using the Baily's frosting, ice the cake on top and side with one thin layer of frosting and smooth out. This is called a "crumb coat". Place in freezer for 10 mins.
Take cake our of freeze and ice with remaining frosting as desired.
These cakes were finished using cake top stencils and colored sugar and cocoa nibs were pressed only the sides