I've been anticipating baking this cake all week. Actually, in all honestly I started anticipating baking this cake last weekend while David was slaving away on his wonky cake. It isn't that I wasn't interested in his cake it is just that I was flipping through the freebie Waitrose Weekend paper we had picked up when buying his ingredients and stumbled upon the most luscious looking cake...deep dark chocolate with a soft white icing...and then I read the title: Rich Chocolate & Ginger Beer Cake...that was it...I was sold (not to mention we had bought most of the ingredients already for David's cake)!
This cake is dense and moist, and totally chocolatey. The icing is made with mascarpone cheese, which gives it a really light flavour and texture, but it also meant that I needed to find room in my fridge for it!! The cake is lovely, but it wasn't gingery enough for me. I'm thinking about adding some candied ginger or ground ginger (or both) the next time. The icing is a golden colour because I've started using Billington's natural golden icing sugar . I think the soft gingery colour adds something extra to the presentation of the cake.
I'm posting the recipe for a couple of reasons; it isn't available on the Waitrose website, but I also changed the method to suit me and my stand mixer (I don't have a hand mixer).
Rich Chocolate & Ginger Beer Cake
adapted from Waitrose Weekend (10 November 2011)
300ml ginger beer (I used non alcoholic)
175g dark chocolate, broken into squares
50g cocoa powder
100g butter, softened
225g light brown sugar
200g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
75g butter, softened
5 Tbsp ginger beer
125g icing sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
-Pre-Heat oven to 170 degrees C, and grease and line 2 20cm sandwich tins (or 1 20cm spring form pan).
-Put ginger beer, cocoa powder and chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Leave until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth and glossy, whisking every once in a while. Remove bowl from heat and leave to cool, about 15 mins.
-Sift flour and baking powder together into a small bowl.
-Once chocolate is cool cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Mix until just combined. On low speed pour in about a 1/4 of the chocolate mixture and beat in to loosen batter. Add remainder of chocolate mixture.
-Pour batter into prepared tins and bake in oven for 25-30 mins (about 50 mins if making in one spring form pan). Cake should be just firm to the touch but tester should be clean.
-Leave to cool for 5 mins before loosening sides of cake from tins. Leave in tins to cool.
-Once completely cooled remove from tins and prepare for icing.
-For icing: cream butter and icing sugar together, slowly adding ginger beer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until just combined. Use 1/2 of the mixture to sandwich the two cakes together and the rest to decorate the top.
**I baked this as one big cake (I don't have sandwich tins) and found cutting it in half pretty difficult, so would recommend baking as two cakes. I also had trouble with the icing, the butter reacted against the ginger beer and it took beating it all by hand (ouch my arm) for it to come together before adding in the mascarpone. Because of this I added about 3 Tbsp more icing sugar to help thicken it up. Regardless, this is a very easy cake to eat!!**