St P’s party food
St Patrick’s Day is renowned for being a most excellent excuse to get shit-faced whilst wearing green garments. This year, however, due to a stonking fat hangover, baking was the limit. Leaving the house was not an option, let alone dressed outlandishly as a Leprechaun. Finally I had an excuse to bake Nigella’s rather sticky Chocolate and Guinness Cake. Yes, that’s right; I let St Patrick’s Day pass me by sober (just), without eating potatoes and without a shamrock painted on my cheek.
I had scoured t’Internet for more, ahem, traditional Irish recipes (I am the first to admit that sploshing Guinness into a cake doesn’t make it Celtic) but everything else seemed a bit tatty heavy or to involve baby sheeps. I used to eat lamb but since my Maam has lived on a sheep farm I can’t get the picture of the cottony lambs doing their skippy dances out of my head. I’ve always been one for phases (ponies, photography, boys, et cetera) so this half-arsed veggie one will probably pass just like the rest have.
Nige, as we are all aware, is pretty famoose for her foodie filth. Her description of said cake is one of the more extreme examples. She describes it as a ‘dark majesty’ and ‘magnificent in its damp blackness’ – the mind boggles. It seems that she or at least her editorial team is as good with words as she is with the suggestive spoon licking (incidentally these are the two principal traits that I aspire to in life.)
It’s not the friendliest cake for student budgets as it involves more than just your bog-standard spongy components of flour, sugar, eggs and butter. But neither are they exotic ingredients (unless you count the Emerald Isle as exotic, I doubt it) – but things like soured cream, vanilla extract, cocoa and of course Guinness are required. But you will reap the rewards when it’s done – plus there will be left over Guinness and if you’re as rock n’ roll as me you’ll get suitably tipsaaay on the 330ml that remain.
It’s pretty easy to make, no fiddly bits, just a bit of welly required at certain stages. If you don’t manage to get pissed on one paltry glass of Guinness, you might not find it quite so challenging.
And strewth! The outcome is effing mind-blowing. Sticky and with just a baby punch of Guinness – but enough sugary and chocolatey goodness so that it doesn’t taste like licking a bar floor. The creamy topping is optional and, in my opinion, a very welcome addition. It’d still be cracking without it but it really looks like a cakey interpretation of a pint of Guinness if you swirl on a frothy head.
It’s rather beastly in size and would easily serve 12. I’m slowly working my way through it – breakfast, lunch and supps plus the thrice daily snack attacks. Luckily I’m training for a half marathon so I can eat whatever the shit I want…
A smidgen of truth stretching there. The consumption of large Easter eggs and their contents as a bedtime snack NEEDS to stop.
Watercress soup next week perhaps?