Sourdough Surprises : Sourdough Chocolate & Guinness Cake with Whiskey Caramel Glaze

It’s time for another challenge from Sourdough Surprises – a group for bakers who want to experiment with making more than just bread with their sourdough starter. March’s challenge was cake – a challenge I’m always happy to take on.

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Checking out the Sourdough Surprises Pinterest Board I immediately repinned this recipe for a sourdough chocolate cake from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. I was given a bundt tin for Christmas, so this seemed as good a time as any for it’s first outing. I also did a little research on the Herman The German Friendship Cake that is doing the rounds at the moment. It’s essentially a sourdough starter maintained specifically for cake, which you’re supposed to keep splitting and passing on to friends. However the recipes didn’t seem to use the sourdough to enhance the flavour or volume as there was no resting time for it to develop, it was just added for the sake of it. It got me wondering if all those people with Herman’s living in their cupboard realise his full potential…

In the end two things heavily influenced the way I adapted the sourdough chocolate cake. #1 – I had been making a lot of stout hot cross buns, and had an open can of Guinness on the kitchen side and #2 – this recipe for Guinness brownies with a whiskey glaze cropped up in my Google Reeder (more on my heartache at the demise of Google Reader on my social media blog). I am obsessed with Guinness & chocolate cakes, I’ve made several variations in the past, one of which won me a prize at a cake competition! So it was decided, I would make a Chocolate & Guinness Bundt Cake with a Whiskey Caramel Glaze.

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I refreshed my rye starter with water and white bread flour and left it for 6 hours before mixing up the cake – next time I think I’ll use Guinness at this stage as well to deepen the flavour. Then I mixed a cup of this starter with Guinness & flour and left it for 2.5 hours to ferment, you can see the before and after above. After that it was just a case of putting all the ingredients into the stand mixer to create the most bizarre consistency cake mix I have ever seen. It clearly couldn’t decide if it was dough or batter. At one point it looked a lot like blancmange, but it turns out that is no bad thing. The resulting cake was dense and moist, the Guinness isn’t so much a seperate flavour as a boost to the rich chocolate flavour.

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The next day I went to make the whiskey caramel glaze, but wasn’t entirely happy with the recipe. I googled a few other caramel sauce recipes and came up with my own version. As you can see from the photos, it was still a bit runny! If you prefer your glaze thicker then keep adding icing sugar, a little at a time, until you get to a consistency you’re happy with. The glaze was to die for. I couldn’t stop eating it. I’m not ashamed to say I even spread it on toast.

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Sourdough Chocolate & Guinness Cake with Whiskey Caramel Glaze

Makes 1 large bundt cake.
Based on the recipes for this cake and this glaze.

Cake Ingredients

1 cup sourdough starter fed approx. 6 hours ago
1 cup Guinness
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
2 large eggs

Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp double cream
1/4 cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 tbsp Guinness
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup icing sugar (to reach my consistency – add more as required)

Mix together the fed starter with the Guinness & plain flour. Cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave to ferment at room temperature for roughly 2.5 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan & grease your bundt tin with butter.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachement (or by hand), combine the caster sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder & espresso powder. Beat on a low speed to combine, and don’t worry about it being grainy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.

Add the Guinness leaven to the batter and beat on low until well mixed. At this stage the batter goes through a range of textures (it’s very elastic!), just keep going until it’s nice and smooth. Scrape down the paddle & bowl a couple of times to make sure it’s all mixed in evenly.

Transfer the batter into the bundt tin and level the top. Bake for around 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, mine took 47 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Now for the glaze.

Combine the caster sugar with 2 tbsp water in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Stir briefly until the sugar dissolves and then leave it, any more stirring will cause sugar crystals to form and you’ll have to start again. Continue to cook until the sugar has turned a dark amber colour, keep a close watch on it as it can turn quite quickly once it gets to the right temperature.

Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter and double cream until combined. Add the whiskey, Guinness and salt, whisk and return to the heat, cooking until the caramel is smooth.

Cool the sauce for 10-15 minutes, it will still be a little warm. Using an electric mixer, or by hand add the icing sugar a bit at a time, until you get to the consistency you like, then drizzle over the bundt cake. Pop the cake in the fridge for half an hour to set the glaze, then enjoy!

Check out the other Sourdough Surprises entries here, and don’t forget – the leftover glaze is cracking on toast!

Can't get enough of the whiskey caramel sauce. #caramel #friday #love

A post shared by Lauren (@lgarland1) on

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22 thoughts on “Sourdough Surprises : Sourdough Chocolate & Guinness Cake with Whiskey Caramel Glaze

  1. pizzarossa

    This is a cake that is definitely after my hubby’s heart – it has 2 of his favourite foodgroups, Guinness and whisky! I’m going to save the recipe for his birthday 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lauren Post author

      I know! Thought I think we should make use of Guinness all year round, it’s too delicious to reserve for just one week of the year…

      Reply
  2. Robyn

    Oh, I love this, the cake looks so chocolaty and sweet… and that glaze!!! Also love that you put the glaze on toast, you are a smart lass!

    Reply
  3. Rachael

    I really, really love this! Every aspect looks perfect, and I can just imagine how dark and soulful the cake must taste. Yum!

    So glad to meet you through Sourdough Surprises, and I look forward to baking together in the future! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Korena in the Kitchen

    This cake looks crazy good! I never thought to let the sourdough batter ferment – did you find it boosted the SD flavour? I can’t believe how much your cake rose in the oven – you must have a powerful starter! I’m off to check out your Guinness hot cross buns recipe! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lauren Post author

      I don’t know if it boosted the sourdough flavour, it was just super chocolatey! But I think it did help with the volume, as it had basically been fed & fermented twice in the last 8 hours, so it was really active. It would be worth using the same method with a vanilla, or lightly flavoured cake to check the flavour difference!

      Do check out the Guinness hot cross buns! You’ll never go back to normal buns!

      Reply
  5. Rebecca

    This sounds delicious! If my waistline could take more cake, I’d be trying this right away. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to use a rye starter in a cake, but I bet it pairs beautifully with the Guiness.

    Reply
    1. Lauren Post author

      Every waistline can take more cake! Anyway, cake is medicinal, it’s good for the soul!

      Yes I was a little nervous about the rye started, but the flavours in this are so rich it wasn’t really noticeable. In a more delicately flavoured cake it might make more of a difference.

      Reply
  6. turnips 2 tangerines

    What a great cake!! Wonderful flavor combinations too:) Another good reason to use my bundt pan~ Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    Reply
  7. Shelley C

    What a delicious looking and sounding cake. And a great way to break in your Bundt pan 🙂 And, btw, genius, putting extra glaze on toast. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that!

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Instagram Eats : March 2013 | Lauren Bakes

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