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« Extreme Baking. Shuna Works London. | Main | March 20, 1968 »

18 March 2009


Yum. Any leftovers?

Oh! These look delicious!

OMG this looks amazing! I have to try this...

Too bad I'm seeing the recipe the morning AFTER St. Patty's day!

I have a few cans of Guinness in the fridge...I think they might have a new home!!

Wow, thanks Shuna. This looks like a little masterpiece. And I loooooovvvveee that it's in grams.

I am going to give this a try over the weekend. I assume the 8 inch cake pan is an 8 inch ROUND cake pan? I'm good to go on the metric stuff, though. I have scale that does grams, and all of my liquid measures have both metric and [US] standard measures.

hello Jeff, yes, round, sorry! In all honesty I did not test it in this type of pan but it's a standard size so it should do the trick. Please do stop by again and tell me how it went, if you have time. ~ Shuna

In your recipe you say "preheat oven to 185C". I take it this is a conventional oven at 185C so about 170C fan assisted?

Alo Sir Wobin!! Ahoy Matey! yes, this sounds about right. Be absolutely sure not to fill your tin too much and definitely put that tin on a baking sheet though because this cake Loves Rising! ~ Shuna p.s. be sure to tell me how it goes...

I don't remember my first chocolate cake (although I do remember my first kiss!) but I remember how it made me feel as a child and how it makes me feel today.

Now I can't wait for pastry week at school (I'm a culinary school student). It will be splendid!


I just posted about Nigella's Chocolate Guinness cake, but your additions/substitutions look like they would add much more depth to the cake. Nigella's cake did rise gloriously as well. I was also surprised and unsure about the simplicity of the batter technique. Thanks for sharing.

I have everything I need to make this tomorrow. But looking over the amounts of ingredients more carefully, I am concerned it will be too much batter for my 2 inch high 8 inch round cake pan. Will it be OK, or am I going to have excess batter to use to make cupcakes?

Jeff: This made a LOT more cake than 20 cupcakes / one 8-inch round. Final count here: 4 dozen cupcakes *plus* a 9-inch round (made in a 2-inch tall removable-bottom pan).

I did all my measuring in grams, weighed my eggs, etc -- so I am sure it wasn't my dodgy math!

I found that for cupcakes you can go about 2/3 full; they tend to look a little stingy if you go the prescribed half-full. I measured a scant 1/4-cup for the first 2 dozen and they look a bit sad (which will be easily remedied with frosting!). Went the full 1/4-cup for the next two sets and they look better but not overflowing.

Also, 20 minutes (at 365°F / no fan) was plenty for cupcakes; the 9-inch round (which I filled 1-inch full) was still fully liquid at 20 minutes, risen to the pan's edge and solid-looking (but still quite liquid) at 35, slightly domed and stiff at the edges at 40, fully risen but still runny in the center at 45, and all-of-a-sudden done (and slightly sunken) at 50.

ps: US cans of Guinness Draft are about 450ml; I didn't top up, and the batter seemed plenty liquid.

Anita, You are a goddess of the highest order. Not that I didn't always know this, but more has been revealed. Thank you always and forever. My tiredness is most grateful for your perception, generosity & care. xxx Shuna

I have made some drastic changes to the recipe-- because, yes, I gave you a recipe for FAR TOO MUCH CAKE BATTER! So sorry. It should fit in a cake pan now... eep, oof, I apologize!

OK. So, I made this cake this morning. Since the posted recipe made a lot of batter, i just halved all the amounts.

Filled the 8 inch round pan half full. the rest of the batter filled 12 lined cupcake about 3/4 full.

Round cake baked first. Oven just above 350 F. Like yours, liquidy at 20 minutes. but it was rising nicely. Baked another 10. Checked. It was sinking. Checked. let it go a few minutes more. Thin knife came out pretty clean. Cupcakes took 20 minutes. They were done then. But they too sank. Look like big giant dimples.

It's all cooling now. Cream cheese coming up to room temp. Will make frostings soon.

I'm sure they will taste great. I tasted some of the batter, and it was really fantastic. You were right about chocolate and Guinness. It came together nicely. Very well balanced. Mostly chocolate, but the taste of the stout was clearly there.

I'm just a bit bummed about the cake sinking. I don't bake cakes too often, so I am not exactly sure what went wrong.


Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thorough telling of your experience with this recipe.

First off, every cake rises and sets and eats differently based on its ratio, ingredients, geography and mixing method (to name a few.)

Liquid batters take a long time to bake and set. Liquid batters do not like to be checked in on a lot and they despise being turned halfway though baking. Liquid batters also are very finicky about the size of the baking vessel their baker has chosen to place them in.

All that said, I did all my testing and baking of this recipe in London where my flours are from England, France and Canada. As opposed to American flours, these countries tend to grow and produce drier, stronger wheat.

Why Do Cakes Sink is a good place to start, yes, but my own experience with experimenting with this recipe was that I gave up flavour for structure when I attempted to get the cake to be less delicate.

I look forward to hearing more, should you have the energy to take this cake to other places... ~ Shuna

I must have printed off the recipe just before your changes! Now I am left with TWO chocolate guinness cakes! How unfortunate.

This cake is divine. The Guinness really does stand up nicely to the chocolate; even a friend of mine who doesn't like chocolate (!) liked this cake. Perfect mouthfeel.

However, they both sank in the middle! I'll have to revisit the sinking cake post.

Chocolate & Beer now that caught my attention. Have to try making this.
BTW I love your blog, been reading it for a while.

sounds superb...I want to taste it...looks cool.

I would really like understand why it sank and do whatever I need to do to correct that problem. This cake tastes great. It's plenty moist and has great flavor.

Before I dig into the "Why cakes sink" post, I'll add in a few more comments about what I did during my experiment with this cake.

At the 20 minute mark, I gave the 8" cake pan a giggle. Maybe that disrupted what it was trying to do? It didn't sink right away, though. It wasn't until I check on it 10 minutes or so later that I saw it had sank.

When it comes to baked goods and "structure", the thing I would think of first is "gluten makes structure". Now, I know sometimes you want gluten to develop in a baked good (bread, for example). But other times, it's BAD (pancake batter). My knowledge of gluten says mixing flour with liquid creates gluten. Do I need a lot of gluten to develop in this cake? If so, maybe I didn't mix hard enough or fast enough or long enough?

Anyway, I will read the "Why Cakes Sink" entry to see what it has to say.

Jeff, Wow, a lot of analyzing here... Without getting into all the nitty gritty I would make these suggestions for you if you don't want the large cake to sink:
1. replace 50% of your flour with high protein bread flour. omit 10% of your sugar and replace all your sugar with white sugar-- no more brown sugar
2. fill cake pan only to the halfway mark
3. generously butter & flour baking vessel
4. do not check on cake at all for first 25 minutes. when you do check it for the first time do not jiggle pan
5. serve cake upside down

In the end it's just cake. After all the experimenting I did with proportions, what I found to work was to allow the recipe to be exactly what it was/is. It's moist and delicate and sinks a little. ~ Shuna

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe i like it so much,for sure my kids will like it if i baked this kind of cake.


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