Today in honor of St. Patrick's Day, which is probably a larger "fun" holiday in the USA than anywhere else, we have a recipe courtesy of a chef I know.
Chef Gina Brown, would you please tell our readers your name and your profession?
How long have you been a chef and teacher?
I’ve been in this business in one form or another for over 30 years. I’ve been an instructor for 12 years.
How did you get into making desserts?
Well, honestly I was never really that into making desserts. I’ve always loved breads. And I always thought they would be my focus. My degree is in Baking and Pastry, but I’m not much of a dessert eater.
How long have you been working with chocolate?
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with chocolate. I complained once when I was a student to my chef. I said, ‘Chef, I hate working with chocolate. It’s so messy.’ He said, “Chef, it’s not the chocolate that’s messy”
What is the easiest thing about working with chocolate?
That it favors and enhancing so many other flavors. It’s always fun to pair it with savory ingredients.
What is the most difficult thing about working with chocolate?
Although I know that Chef was right, but I still think it’s messy!
When you aren't teaching do you work with chocolate just for your or your family's own enjoyment?
I hate to say it but no. It’s like the Cobblers children who have no shoes……
I hear you have a recipe you'd like to share with our reader for St. Patrick's Day this year? Is this an original recipe or a family favorite or something in between?
Actually it’s from Nigella Lawson, although I’ve changed it up a bit by adding spice to the recipe, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and ¼ ginger. It adds a different flavor profile. The cayenne really enhances the ginger.
Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ginger
Ingredients for the topping:
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Seen in the photo:
Preheat the over to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.
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 baking soda.
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan 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 frosting. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the confectioner's sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsifted confectioners' 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.
Makes about 12 slices.
Finally I hear that you are starting/have started your own business. Would you tell us a little bit about that?
Yes! I have started a food coaching/consulting business. My goal is to help folks to enjoy their kitchen again. I think we have become so busy that we’ve gotten away from cooking. Folks don’t even know where to start. And there is so much information out there! I hope to help folks feel a little more comfortable around a sauce pan. You can find me at Everyday Fresh with Gina Brown.
I hope once it gets going we might be able to feature some of your creations here on The Chocolate Cult for our readers.
Thank you, Gina, for talking with us today.
Thank you Tammy Jo! I’m honored to be interviewed on your site.