Sunday, 16 May 2010

Chocolate, Stout and Raisin Slice

A bit of a misnomer, this, as I left out the raisins! This is one of Dan Lepard's recent recipes, originally published in Sainsbury's Magazine, which has received much acclaim from bloggers such as Choclette and Joanna at Zeb Bakes. As with many of Dan's recipes, it's an unusual method, starting with making a sort of porridge by cooking oats and cocoa in stout. However it's a simple 'mix in the pan' recipe which isn't difficult to follow. The cake tin size isn't mentioned in the online recipe, but the original recipe states a 20cm (8") square tin.

I left out the dried fruit because the Chief Tester (and biggest eater!) doesn't really like it in cakes, and added my own stout-flavoured frosting, as the one in the recipe looked far too sweet and over-generous for our tastes. I didn't have Guinness available, so used Murphy's Irish Stout, which I keep in stock for winter casseroles. For the frosting, I melted 175g plain chocolate with 30g butter in a small saucepan, then removed the pan from the heat and stirred in 2 tablespoons of golden syrup and 3 tablespoons of stout. I cooled this until it just held it's shape, then spread it over the cold cake.

The recipe produces a dense, moist, and (dare I say it?) chewy cake, which might not be to everyone's taste. It doesn't taste very sweet, as the sugar is counterbalanced by the flavour of the stout, so the very sweet looking frosting from the recipe may not have been as OTT as it first seemed on reading the recipe - in retrospect, a few moist, sweet, plump raisins or cherries dotted around might be an improvement too (although not from CT's point of view!). That reads as if I didn't like the cake, which isn't the case. I enjoyed it a lot and would like to try it again with the dried fruit added; I'm just trying to be objective about it. As it is such a robust cake, it would probably travel well (without the frosting), so would make a good addition to a picnic.


Lucie said...

This looks wonderful, I don't believe for a moment this wouldn't be to everyone's taste :) It looks far too good to be anything but delicious! Lucie x

Choclette said...

Suelle, thank you for the link. I think you're probably right about the sweetness and dried fruit. There were a lot of raisins in the cake so I'm sure not including them would have made a significant difference to the level of sweetness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue

I think I mentioned before that everyone who has tasted this cake has absolutely loved it. My most recent version had chopped walnuts replacing some of the dried fruit. Also, the icing isn't particularly sweet, but rather yummy!

Suelle said...

Adding nuts is a good idea; I've used a lot of chocolate-nut combinations recently and just needed a rest from them, but will try it in the future.

Joanna said...

I had similar thoughts about leaving the raisins out but in they went so very interesting to hear how you describe it without them in.

It makes a huge cake doesn't it? A little goes a long way as it is quite substantial- half of mine is in the freezer. I chopped some pieces off the other night and microwaved them, don't laugh, and had hot choc cake with chocolate sauce as a result! I had a quick Proustian memory of hot chocolate school puddings at that point as it was so sticky. Fun making it though and I will definitely make it again one day.