Terribly butch chocolate cake

July 15, 2011 § 5 Comments


Oh, readers – I have a dark secret. Really, I do. It’s hard to admit to, but I hope I can count on your love and support.


The thing is – even though, most of the time, I’m an enormous sissy – what with the reading, and the writing, and the flowers, and the lacy scarves (so many scarves) – well, um – I have my butch moments as well.


I know! But I can’t help it. I like beer. And hammers. And making loud noises. Sometimes all you want out of a meal is more bacon than the body can handle. Sometimes it’s nice to (respectfully) ogle the hot, hot people of this world. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I like to pretend to be Lisbeth Salander. Or Han Solo. Either is good.


But how does this fit into the wonderful world of baking? What do you make for those days when a rosewater macaroon just doesn’t cut it? Rather than descend into utter farce, like the Butch Bakery of New York, I thought it’d be more fun to take some classic elements of butchness and whip them up into a cake. So – we need:

  • Toughness
  • In-your-face sexiness
  • Solidity
  • Hidden depths
  • Unexpected sweetness
  • Beer


I asked my Ashes producer Jon Lett to road test the results. Sex, drugs and rock and roll – that just about sums him up. His opinion? So butch it emasculated him. That sounds like a seal of approval to me.


Before we begin – credit where its due – this recipe is based on ideas found in the Green & Black’s recipe book. I’m not kidding – buy it now. You’ll gain weight and it’ll be a good thing.



  • 225 salted butter, room temperature
  • 350g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 150g grated dark chocolate (at LEAST 70% cocoa solids)


  1. Preheat the over to 180ºC, and grease and line a deep springform cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one by one, with the vanilla.
  4. Take a long gulp of the Guinness. God, that’s good. Then mix the rest with the cocoa powder in a separate jug- slowly, otherwise you’ll end up with a frothy mess all over the kitchen.
  5. Alternating, slowly fold the flour/baking powder/soda mixture and the Guinness/cocoa mixture into the cake batter. Handle the mixture gently – remember, real butches know that being gentle takes guts. Fold in the grated chocolate.
  6. Bake for about an hour.



And then…



As for the frosting – remember how important beer is as an ingredient? So we’re going to make it look like a pint of the black stuff. Double butch points.

  • 200g white chocolate
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 100g icing sugar


  1. Melt the chocolate on a low heat – microwave is easiest. Leave to cool.
  2. Mix in the creme fraiche. It will look lumpy and disgusting. Here’s how the magic happens..
  3. …Beat in the icing sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Leave to cool in the fridge for about fifteen minutes. Then ice that son of a bitch cake, and enjoy.


I asked Jon if he thought edible glitter was a suitable decoration for the cake. After all – isn’t it a bit too…sparkly? He decided that, so long as the glitter was the dark red of a bleeding heart, we could just about get away with it. So there you have it – edible glitter for all. Grrrrrr.

The picture may be low quality, but the cake is the very best. Voila!



§ 5 Responses to Terribly butch chocolate cake

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