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Chocolate-Beer Cake

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When did the ‘beer is a drink for men’ thing start? And who decided that women like wine rather than beer? Surely it wasn’t Jesus, he didn’t turn water into beer but wine so he didn’t seem to be fussy about the whole wine & beer gender problem. Maybe he liked wine better. Or he wanted to please the ladies hanging around. Or he just didn’t care. Did he like peanuts? Whatever, today a lot of women drink beer, too, but nevertheless: a cold beer, peanuts, football sounds more like a boys than a girls night out. So before Christmas time starts and before we start baking cute things, getting sentimental and switching into the cozy mode here’s a recipe for a proper chocolate cake with beer & peanuts. It is not obligatory to watch football while eating it, you can be either male or female and you don’t have to believe in Jesus.

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The beer I used is a very strong & rich beer, it tastes a bit like a dessert, that’s why I had the idea to bake with it. Of course you can take any beer. The carbon dioxide will help the cake rising, but the chocolate will still keep it dense, so it’s a brownie-like consistency. Which isn’t bad in my opinion.

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For the cake you need:

  • 150 g margarine
  • 100 g chocolate
  • 130 g sugar
  • 30 g cocoa
  • 200 g flour (Type 550, or all purpose)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250 ml beer (bock or stout)

For the icing & decoration you need:

  • 70 g margarine
  • 20 g cocoa
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • a good handful of salted peanuts for decoration

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To bake the cake, preheat the oven to 175 °C (using circulation air decrease to 165 °C). Combine flour, cocoa powder and salt in a big bowl. Melt margarine and chocolate, stir in the sugar and add to the dry ingredients. Before mixing it, pour the beer in. Not all at once, leave a third out. Mix all ingredients together and look at the dough. If it is quite dense add the remaining third. In case the batter is to runny don’t add it. Pour the batter into a baking tin lined with baking parchment at the bottom and greased on the sides. Bake for approximately half an hour or 50 minutes. Test the inside with a toothpick. It neither should be dry nor too gooey (it’s not a real brownie!). While the cake cools down, you can make the icing or you can make it a day ahead and put it into the fridge, as you like.

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Sieve icing sugar and cocoa powder into a small bowl, add the margarine and stir vigorously. At first it will seem like the ingredients will never come together. Be a little patient.

When it is time to assemble the cake you can cut off the sides (and the top) to make it look more rustic and “manly”. I know it’s total cliché talk right now. But I like the slightly rough look for that cake. Spread the icing generously on top and throw the salted peanuts on. Yeah, throw them. No man I know would carefully place them on top. Woohoo, cliché, I love it. You’ll end up with something like this:

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You can stop here, and eat it. Or you can halve it and put one half on top of the other one. Then it looks like the photo below. If you want a round double decker: Bake two cakes and make double quantity of the icing. But because this is an anti-cliché post why not have a half-cake once? Who determined cakes have to have a circle shape? Jesus?

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