Eric Akis: The lucky charm of this chocolate cake

Eric Akis

St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday and if you want to mark the occasion in a sweet, Irish-themed way, get out your bundt pan. You’ll need it to make my decadent cake, which incorporates Guinness and Irish cream liqueur.

That dark Irish beer is added to the cake’s chocolaty batter, enriching its flavour and colour and making the cake pleasingly dense and moist when baked.

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The Irish cream liqueur is blended into the simple glaze for the cake, which is spooned and drizzled on it, once it has been unmoulded and has cooled.

That sweet, creamy, whisky-flavoured liqueur gives the glaze a caramel-tinged colour and appealing taste, which nicely contrasts flavours in the dark chocolate bundt cake.

If you don’t have a bundt cake pan, they are not overly expensive and you’ll find them at just about every store selling kitchenware.

You can bake the cake a day before serving it. Just keep it tightly covered at room temperature until ready to glaze and serve.

Not surprisingly, what you put in the cake can also be served with the cake to further complement its flavour. You can serve wedges of the cake with a wee glass of Guinness or Irish cream liqueur.

Chocolate Guinness Bundt Cake With Irish Cream Glaze

Two tastes of Ireland flavour this divine, moist, chocolaty cake. Serve it on St. Patrick’s Day, or any other day you need a special dessert.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Makes: 16 servings

1 cup butter, cubed

1 cup Guinness beer (see Eric’s options)

2/3 cup cocoa powder

• soft butter or vegetable oil-spray, for greasing

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp Irish cream liqueur, such as Baileys (see Eric’s options)

1 cup icing sugar

Place cubed butter, Guinness and 2Ú3 cup cocoa powder in a small pot and set over medium heat. Heat just until the butter melts, whisking to combine it with the Guinness and cocoa. Remove mixture from the heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 12-cup non-stick bundt cake pan with soft butter or vegetable-oil spray.

Place the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix well to combine. Add butter mixture and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add the eggs and sour cream and beat until well combined. Scrape the sides of bowl and beat a few seconds more.

Spoon and spread the batter into the bundt cake pan. Bake in the centre of the oven 55 to 60 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently touched in the centre. Cool cake on a baking rack for 20 minutes, and then invert on to a cake plate. Let cake cool to room temperature.

To make glaze, place Irish cream liqueur in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar. (Mixture should be quite thick, but still be something you can slowly drizzle on the cake.) Use a small spoon to drizzle the glaze on the cake, moving the spoon slowly back and forth as you do so. Let the glaze set 30 minutes, and then the cake is ready to enjoy.

Eric’s options: For an even more decadent dessert, serve plated wedges of the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream.

Any leftover cake, cut into wedges and individually wrapped, will freeze well; to thaw and enjoy the next time you crave a sweet treat.

If you want to make an alcohol-free chocolate bundt cake, replace the Guinness with 1 cup of strong, cold black coffee and the Irish cream liqueur with 2 Tbsp milk.

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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