I’ll be honest with you, reader, I wasn’t initially going to post this recipe, because these boozy chocolate brownie cakes are yet another instance of a baking fail in my kitchen. I try to wear my Queen of Cooking Fails crown as proudly as I can, but sometimes the gallons of spilled milk make you want to cry a little.
I was stoked to do Guinness brownies for St Paddy’s Day, but then two things happened. Firstly, I couldn’t find any Guinness. Living in the ‘armpit’ of South Africa (AKA Port Elizabeth), things like this happen and you get used to it. So I had to change my angle slightly; I bought a bottle of Castle Milk Stout instead, and decided to just do boozy brownies for St Paddy’s Day. Then, the brownies turned out to not be brownies, but more of a brownie-cake hybrid. Too dense to be a cake and too crumbly to be a brownie, how the hell was I going to market this? “Non-Guinness, Non-Brownie Brownie Cakes” doesn’t really roll off the tongue.
I felt annoyed and defeated, to the extent that I was going to scrap the recipe altogether. But then Tom – the wonderful person that he is – sat me down and reminded me who I am. I’m a novice. No, I’m The Novice. Making cooking mistakes is what I’m all about, because if I wasn’t The Novice, then who else would I be but just another food blogger. And for the first time in the six-and-a-half-years we’ve been dating, he was right.
So here you have it – boozy chocolate brownie cakes! Extremely rich and decadent, these brownie cakes have a dense, stodgy texture and an overwhelming chocolate flavour with subtle notes of stout. They’re surprisingly filling and are amazing warmed up slightly before eating. Not quite a brownie, not quite cake, but the perfect combination of both.
Boozy Chocolate Brownie Cakes
- 750ml bottle stout (any variety)
- ¾ cup melted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 whisked eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 3 tbsp stout (from reduced mixture)
- 1 tsp caramel essence
- ¼ tsp salt
Reduce the stout my pouring 2 cups into a pot and bringing it to a boil over the stove-top. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until about one third of the mixture has evaporated. Cool for 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 180° C and line a square baking tray with wax paper
In a large bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar. Pour in honey and ¾ cup reduced stout and stir. Add whsiked egg and vanilla essence, and stir
Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Stir until mixture is properly combined
Pour mixture into prepared baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes
Beat together butter and icing sugar. Add 3 tablespoons reduced stout, caramel essence and salt, and stir
Cool brownie cakes properly before frosting
- It's important to reduce the stout first, as the heat evaporates some of the liquid, leaving behind a punchy flavour.
Inspired by Sally's Baking Blog