Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

About 15 years ago I had my first slice of chocolate stout cake in a café in Didsbury. It was probably the best cake I’d ever eaten and I once I started baking regularly, I wanted to make one for myself.

I’ve baked this cake many times now, each time with a different stout or porter. It’s such a rich, delicious cake and really very simple to make. After going to this year’s Didsbury Beer Festival, I was reminded how good the Dunham Massey Chocolate Cherry Dark Mild was and I knew I needed to bake this with it.

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

A bottle of the Dunham Massey Chocolate Cherry Dark Mild usually has 500ml of stout in it, which is enough for two cakes, so I often double up the recipe and bake two cakes. Un-frosted, they keep quite well, though that’s never really an issue in my greedy house.

Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

250ml Stout or porter, I used Dunham Massey Chocolate Cherry Dark Mild
250g Butter
75g Cocoa powder
400g Caster sugar
150g Sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
275g plain flour
3 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of soda

For the frosting
250g Cream cheese
150g Icing sugar
2 tsp Cornflour
125ml Double cream

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

How to make a Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease and line a 9 inch cake tin.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add your stout or porter. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and whist gently until the sugar dissolves.

In a mixing bowl, beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the pan and finally whisk in the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. As the batter is quite wet, I tend to leave it in the cooling oven for 15 minutes to stop the cake shocking and sinking in the middle. If it does sink a little in the middle, it’s not a disaster, it’s just a tasty dent you can fill with the frosting! Once you’ve removed the cake from the over, leave it to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

When the cake is completely cool, it’s time to make your frosting. In a clean bowl, whip the cream cheese until it is smooth, sift the icing sugar through a fine sieve and do the same with the cornflour; then beat to combine with the cream cheese.

In a separate bowl, whip your double cream until it is thick and then fold it through the cream cheese mixture. Spread it thickly over the top of your cake, which should look like a dark pint of stout with a rich creamy head.

If I’d thought it through at the time, I would have also decorated the cake with chocolate dipped fresh cherries; but maybe that’s one for the summer when they’re in season.

This cake works really well with all kinds of stouts and porters; so pick your favourite and give it a whirl!

Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Porter Cake

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