Beer & Chocolate Cake Recipe

Teetotalling doesn't mean the end of the world, even for a budding home chef that uses booze here and there, on this neverending journey to find ultimate satisfaction in cooking.

I quit alcohol a few years ago, but knowing that many dishes use booze to marry the flavors never stopped me in my tracks. It was always going to be a challenge to cook with alternatives to ale, rum, vermouth or champagne, for example, but just doing a bit of research solved the problem.

I wanted to move forward and try recipes with which I can find alternative options and experiment with, to satisfy myself and fellow diners.

Vanilla extract as a substitute for bourbon, juice for Cointreau...OK, it wasn't rocket science for this recipe - I used non alcoholic beer, but the flavours do compliment the cake just as if I had used normal beer.  And yes, I do know how the "normal" chocolate beer cake tastes. I used normal beer the very first time I made this.

As I said, the teetotal version tastes no different and it is so divine that you might even forget that there is any beer there in the first place.  The taste of beer is lightly covered by the cocoa and it has a wonderful fudgy texture that simply melts in your mouth.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40-50 mins
Serves: 8

250 ml beer (non-alcoholic, if desired)
225 g unsalted butter
65 g  unsweetened cocoa powder 
215 g plain flour
360 g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
160 g sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease your cake tin well.

2. Simmer the beer and butter in a medium sized pan over medium heat, then whisk cocoa powder through until fully combined.

3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking soda and salt together and stir to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, hand-beat the eggs and sour cream, then stir in the warm chocolate mix.

5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gently hand-fold in the wet mix with a spatula until combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes for cake, or until the cake comes away from the sides of the pan and a skewer comes out clean.

7. Leave the cakes to completely cool before trying to remove from the pan. Dust with icing sugar to finish, if desired.