Saturday, 15 March 2014

IRISH CHOCOLATE CAKE+ VEGAN VERSION / ST. PATRICK´S DAY SPECIAL

WIKI NOTE: The name shamrock comes from Irish seamr贸g, which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply "little clover" or "young clover". A shamrock is used as a symbol of Ireland. The Irish have considered shamrocks as good-luck symbols since earliest times.

IRISH CHOCOLATE CAKE
  • FOR THE CAKE
YOU WILL NEED:
2 cups plain wheat flour (plain or all-purpose)
2 cups panela sugar or unrefined cane sugar
1 cup vegan-friendly stout beer / Guinness Extra Stout (North America)
¾ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
¾ cup non-dairy sour cream
10 teaspoons unsalted vegan butter/margarine
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sunflower oil or veggie oil, any neutral flavored(instead of 2 eggs)

NOTE: Guinness beer isn´t vegan-friendly because it uses isinglass in its production. Isinglass is made from the swim bladders of fish. However Guinness Extra Stout brewed and bottled in North America lacks isinglass. It's the only vegan-friendly of the Guiness clan so far.

NOTE: Homemade measurement units


LET´S BAKE!
1. Preheat the oven to 180 潞 C. Grease a spring-form tin or round/large cake pan with vegetable oil.
2. Melt the butter into the Guinness in a saucepan over low heat.
3. Add the brown sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder into the warm liquid.  Add sugar and cocoa. Whisk until completely incorporated. Take the saucepan off the heat.
4. In another bowl, mix non-dairy sour cream, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until combined. Add this to the beer mix and blend, making sure it is really blended together.
5. Add the baking soda and start adding the flour a small amount at a time.  Whisk well to get rid of any lumps of flour.
NOTE: Sift the flour for cakes. Sifting helps to remove any lumps and / or unwanted debris from the flour and also helps to combine the flour with any dry ingredients. If you don't have a strainer handy, you can also mix flour with a wire whisk or a fork.
6. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes. Then check it as many times as you need, until the needle comes out clean when poked in the center. It means that the cake is well done. The middle of the cake may still be slightly wet when you take the cake out. It is quite a damp cake.
7. Let it cool completely.  Remove the spring-form tin/round cake pan and sit it on a flat platter/plate.
  • FOR THE TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
YOU WILL NEED:  
2 and 1/2 cup  cream cheese
1 and 1/2 cup  icing sugar
1/2 cup  double cream
VEGAN OPTION
1/2 cup *vegan shortening (homemade or vegan-friendly brand)
1/2 cup regular vegan butter/margarine
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

LET´S ICE THE CAKE!
1. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth. Sieve over the icing sugar. Beat the cream cheese and the icing sugar together. Add the cream and beat until it makes a spreadable consistency.
VEGAN OPTION: Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined. Add the sugar and beat  until fluffy. Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat until fluffy.
NOTE: For a firmer icing, add more icing sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer icing, add more soy milk or soy cream, a tablespoon at a time.
2. Use the spatula, start in the middle of the cake and spread the icing evenly over the top. It looks kind of like the froth of the famous pint.

  • LET'S MAKE THE IRISH SHAMROCK ON THE TOP!
1. Trace out the shamrock shape with a pencil (A5 paper size) and cut out the shape. Keep both papers, the shamrock shape piece of paper and the A5 paper with the shamrock hole.
2. Dry the top of the cake with paper towels if it is necessary, then put the shamrock shape piece of paper on the top-center of the cake, sprinkle icing sugar, carefully take out the piece of paper.
-TOPING OPTION:  Put the A5 paper with the shamrock hole on the top-center of the icing, sprinkle inside with dark chocolate grated or cacao/cocoa powder.  

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