I’ll be honest with you – I don’t like Christmas cake, and I know quite a few people who feel the same way. So when it comes to the festive season, I always like to come up with a couple of fairly spectacular bakes that can take centre-stage and still please the chocoholics in the crowd. This showstopper is made with Electric Bear’s Mochachocolata Ya Ya, a coffee caramel milk stout that makes the resulting cake dark, rich and moist. To balance out the dark chocolate flavours of the cake, there’s sweet malted buttercream on top and a gloriously generous heap of Maltesers – the malty flavours are perfect with the hint of the stout. I guarantee you’ll have no complaints about this one.
250ml Mochachocolata Ya Ya
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
150ml sour cream
275g self-raising flour
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the buttercream:
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp malted milk powder, such as Horlicks
A big bag of Maltesers
A metre of ribbon (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease a deep loose-bottomed cake tin – mine was 7 inches across, which gives you a nice tall cake, making it a little bit more imposing. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the tin.
2. Start by pouring out the beer and letting it stand in a measuring jug for a few minutes – you’ll find that to begin with, it’s hard to avoid a foamy head that makes it impossible to measure! Then decant 250ml into a large saucepan, add the margarine, and place on a medium heat until the margarine has melted. By the way, I always use margarine in baking as I feel it gives a lighter cake & better texture, but you can substitute butter if you like.
3. Once the fat has melted, whisk in the cocoa powder and caster sugar. Use a fork to beat the eggs into the sour cream, then take the saucepan off the heat and add to the beer mixture. Finally, stir through the flour and bicarb – you may want to use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
4. Pour the cake mixture into your prepared tin, and bake in the preheated oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the tin for a little while, and then carefully remove to a cooling rack and leave until stone cold.
5. To make the buttercream, simply cream together the margarine, icing sugar and malted milk powder until smooth and thick. Spread generously on top of the cake and finish with a spectacular heap of Maltesers. For an extra flourish, tie a wide ribbon around the cake with a flamboyant bow.