If you don't know already, I'm a Geordie.
I was born and brought up in the north-east on the industrial banks of the River Tyne. Anybody from Newcastle or its surrounding environs is dubbed a Geordie, as is our distinctive and apparently pleasant accent!
When I was growing up, my dad was glued to a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. A pub dinner ended with one. Watching the football ended with one. Visiting the bookies ended with one. The smell reminds me of him.
It's seen as a drink of the working men, though nowadays it's more widespread and consumed by younger folks - I've even served a few bottles down here in Wales amazingly!
I'm gonna be honest with you - I actually hate the stuff! I'm not a beer/cider/stout/ale drinker, but I'll tell you something interesting: I love Chocolate Guinness Cake! Yet you won't find me ordering a pint of Guinness anytime soon.
When baked, the bitterness of the Guinness is apparently erased, yet it gives a chocolate cake a turbo-dark-fudge-boost. It's really quite amazing and I'm extremely happy for it.
So I wanted to see if the same could be done for Newc'y Broon, and whether I could create a damp, dark, mulchy chocolate cake with a smack of real Geordie craftsmanship.
What You're Gonna Need:
+ 400ml of Newcastle Brown Ale
+ 250g butter
+ 400g dark chocolate
+ 400g brown/demarara sugar
+ 2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
+ 150ml sour cream
+ 3 large eggs
+ 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
+ 285g plain flour
+ 2 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate
+ Half teaspoon of cinnamon
+ Half teaspoon of nutmeg
+ 400g vanilla frosting
Let's do this:
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
Butter a 3-4 inch deep springform tin with some of your butter.
2. Pour the Newcastle Brown Ale into a pan and heat it on the hob until steaming hot.
Once hot, add the 250g of butter to your ale and heat until it all melts.
You can finish off the rest of that brown ale if you wanna...
3. Add your brown/demerara sugar and golden syrup to the ale and mix until dissolved (it's alright if it's a little bit grainy at the bottom!)
Once dissolved, transfer all of the mixture to a big mixing bowl.
4. Whisk together your 3 eggs, your 150ml of sour cream, your vanilla and your cinnamon/nutmeg.
Slowly add this to hot ale mixture and mix until creamy, like a manilla envelope.
5. Snap your dark chocolate into chunks.
Zap it in the microwave, making sure to give it a stir-up every 10-20 seconds to make sure it all gets a fair zap of radiation.
Once you have a dark, glossy bath of chocolate, pour it into your eggy ale mixture and mix until you have an expansive lake of sweet and chocolatey ale.
6. Now sieve the flour and sodium bicarbonate into the chocolate-ale mixture bit by bit and fold it in slowly.
Once it's all folded in, blitz it with an electric whisk to beat up any lumps, or if you don't have one, use a hand-whisk with a well-trained wanking arm!
7. Once it's all thick and shiny, pour your cake mixture into your greased tin, slide it into the oven and prepare for it to be birthed in 45-60 minutes.
8. Once your cake has swelled and blessed your house with a sweet, toffee aroma, remove your creation from the oven.
Don't panic too much if remains persistently damp or slightly wobbly in the middle, it will firm up I swear!
Set it aside and let it cool completely for an hour or two. Be patient now, if you try and remove it while it's warm, it'll most likely break. Don't do it. Wait. It'll only end in tears.
Once cool, carefully pop it out of its tin.
9. To finish it off, add a creamy whip of vanilla frosting to make a frothy head!
Fridge it, share it (if you can bear to) and have it for breakfast the next day!
If you're an avid drinker of Newcastle Brown Ale, or know somebody you is, this one will go down a treat! I insist you give it a go!
Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading!