I’m not Irish, but I do love how Ireland and the Irish, both at home and abroad, celebrate their national Saint’s day, St Patrick’s Day; it’s a day filled with fun, revelry and good food, although I profess not to be that enamoured of green beer! And, although I’m not Irish, I do LOVE Irish food, especially their amazing cooked breakfasts with potato farls (potato cakes/pancakes similar to soda bread), black pudding, bacon and eggs. Most of us know the most popular Irish recipes, such as soda bread, Irish stew and champ, but there are a myriad of other lovely traditional recipes too.
Ireland is justly famous for its beef and dairy products, and I must admit to being somewhat smitten by a good Steak and Ale pie, made with Guinness of course and prime Irish beef; their cheeses are also delicious with my favourites being farmhouse Irish Cheddar and Cashel Blue. But there are countless other lovely Irish cheeses, with many of them being made at source on farms throughout the country. But, it is probably their most famous export of Guinness that we all know and love the best.
And, it’s with Ireland’s most famous export of Guinness stout that I made my offering for St Paddy’s Day this year, a recipe for a rather large and delectably moist Guinness Chocolate Cake. This is not just a very impressive cake to look at, as it is a VERY big cake, it is also extremely easy to make with one of my favourite “all-in-one” chocolate cake recipes. Believe it or not, there is NO chocolate added to the cake, but cocoa instead – but lots of it and with a fair bit of the frothy brown stuff (Guinness) too.
The cake is then embellished with a cocoa and Guinness buttercream and a sprinkling of chocolate flake shards on top. The cake is wonderfully rich and moist and keeps for up to a week, assuming that it’s not devoured in one sitting that is. The Guinness adds moisture and a subtle “hoppy” flavour to the cake – it really is a very special kind of “celebratory” cake and deserving of “pride of place” on any St Patrick’s Day teatime table. Why not serve this cake alongside some soda bread and an Irish cheeseboard for a slightly different family supper on the 17th March. “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh” (On St. Patrick's Day, everyone's Irish in Gaeilge)