Last year I discovered the sweet flavor that the yeast and hops in an Irish stout contribute to baking. I have used beer many times in marinades and for flavoring hearty stews, but baking, as is pointed out by Margaret Johnson the author of The Irish Spirit, isn't usually on the radar.
We usually associate Guinness and chocolate this time of year...but when I was perusing Margaret's cookbook and saw this Guinness Applesauce Cake, I knew it was coming to my kitchen soon! The cake was super moist and so flavorful...this goes on the rotation....why would I have to wait for St. Patrick's Day to make it again!?
Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing
adapted from The Irish Spirit
Serves 8 to 10
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Guinness
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter, at room temperature
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon (I used about 3 tablespoons...adjust to your taste.)
1 confectioner's sugar (I increased this to 1 1/3 cup....adjust per your taste.)
Lemon slices and a sprinkling of zest for garnish. (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 inch square pan and line it with parchment. Then grease the parchment.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, stir together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and stout. Mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the raisins, dates and walnuts.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate, remove the parchment paper, and set the cake upright to cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and lemon zest. Sift the confectioner's sugar into the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in enough lemon juice to make the icing soft enough to spread easily. spread the icing on top of the cake and smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Decorate with lemon slices and a bit of zest, if desired.
I am participating in Cuisine Kathleen's St. Patrick's Day blog crawl...I have been participating in Kathleen's blog crawl for four years...it is so much fun.
Take a look at my other Irish posts.
Shepherd's Pie and Colcannon
Cottage Pie with Beef, Carrots and Party Potatoes (Just...a little on the English side...)
Medieval Stew with Stout
Not Just Any Irish Soda Bread
Mrs. O'Callaghan's Irish Soda Bread
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Ganache-Filled Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
I am also participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's County Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.