It was my birthday, on the 27th, which ended ten minutes ago. So I'm twenty two now, it doesn't sit quite right with me yet.
Now that I'm home for the Christmas all I seem to think and post about is food!
I made my birthday cake, using Nigella's infamous Chocolate Guinness Cake
Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake
Makes about 12 slices
250g unsalted butter
400g caster sugar
1 x 142ml pot sour cream
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 1/2teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
300g Philadelphia cream cheese (I used mascarpone instead)
150g icing sugar
125ml double or whipping cream (I probably used only a third of this amount)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C, and butter and line a 23cm springform tin.
(Melted butter and guinness mixture)
Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
(Before adding the flour. Don't worry that the mixture seems watery, it'll all come together beautifully in the oven)
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
(Typically there wasn't a decent sized cake tin in my house so I put the remainder into fairy cake cases)
Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
And if you're stuck with Guinness leftovers and you don't drink the white stuff yourself, theres always willing participants!
The finished product:
I got a bit snap happy! It was delicious, despite the small tin, I'm not one for icing usually, but this was smooth and with a kick. There was no Baileys in the house so I improvised and added a splash of:
Gin and tonic (almost) icing of course!
It got the Dad stamp of approval and his opinion of most things is "It's grand". Maybe he was being nice because it was my birthday.