Celebrating It’s not easy being greedy’s birthday with chocolate beer cake and choc chip cookies

cake and cookiesHey, hey, hey, it’s my birthday. By which I mean it’s my blog’s birthday – I wouldn’t be quite so enthusiastic about my own as I edge closer and closer to 40!

So, 27 October 2013 was the day I wrote my first blog post. On this day last year I celebrated the blog’s 1st birthday, and since then … well … things have really been ticking along very nicely.

This last year has been a year of evolution for the blog … in an administrative sense at least. I took the step to migrate over to a self-hosted blog at the start of 2014, which meant an overhaul of the look and feel of It’s not easy being greedy. It has given me a lot more control over the technical aspects of the blog and makes me feel that bit more professional as well.

Munching on cakeI’ve also started to come to the attention of brands and PRs, and so am being offered regular opportunities to attend events, review products and services, and I have even been paid for a couple of posts. As a person who literally cannot walk away from a freebie, I have hugely enjoyed the opportunity to try goodies without actually having to pay for them, although it’s not been so good for my waistline. I love being able to share treats with my family and friends, so thank you to everyone who has joined me in my experiences, especially Andrew, Jo and Leonie.

The biggest problem I have is keeping It’s not easy being greedy up to date. I have a list of posts which I still need to write for reviews of restaurants, recipes, cookbooks I want to share, new ‘why I love’ items, etc. With a full time busy job it’s hard to find the time to write one post per week, and I’d love to share more of my experiences (you, my dear reader, may be quite relieved that I am too busy to share more!).

So, to celebrate the second year of It’s not easy being greedy, I am sharing with you two recipes which I made this weekend to mark the occasion. I hope you enjoy them (as you can see from the picture, Auntie Kate certainly did!), and continue to enjoy It’s not easy being greedy. Thanks for following me!

Chocolate beer cakeChocolate beer cake – adapted from the rich and dark Old Speckled Hen chocolate cake recipe here

I didn’t have high expectations for this cake as what can beat Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The cake is extremely moist but still has a light texture, and you can taste the slight bitterness from the ale. The icing is a touch too sweet for my tastes so I’d use less icing sugar next time.

  • Cake: 175g self-raising flour, ¼ level tsp baking powder, 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda, 275g dark brown soft sugar, 110g spreadable butter, 2 large eggs, 50g cocoa powder, 200ml light ale
  • Icing: 200g butter, 400g icing sugar, 2 tbsp light ale, 50g melted dark chocolate

Pop all the ingredients for the cake, except the ale, into a freestanding mixer and mix together, before slowly adding the beer until it is well combined. Grease and line two sandwich tins and divide the mixture between the two. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes until a cake skewer comes out clean. Cool on a rack whilst you make the icing.

Beat together the icing sugar and butter in a mixer until well combined, and then add the melted chocolate. Slowly add the ale until you have a gorgeously fluffy icing. I found that this quantity of icing was enough to sandwich the two cakes together, and cover the tops and sides. I crumbled a flake onto the top of the cake as well as I had one in the cupboard!

Choc chip cookiesChocolate chip cookies – makes 30 – original recipe here

150g salted butter, 80g light brown muscovado sugar, 80g granulated sugar (I used demerara), 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 225g plain flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp salt, 200g plain chocolate chips or chunks

Cream together the butter and sugars and then add the vanilla and egg, followed by the flour, bicarb and salt. When combined, stir in the chocolate chips (I chopped up a bar of Belgian milk chocolate from Waitrose). Use a teaspoon to put small (walnut sized) dollops of the mixture onto an un-greased baking tray, leaving enough space between each dollop to allow the mixture to spread as it cooks. The cookies need to be baked for 8-10 minutes at 170 degrees, so they start to brown at the edges.

The cookies will still be soft when you take them out of the oven, so leave them on a baking tray for a couple of minutes until they are a bit harder, then remove to a cooling rack. They are nice warm from the oven when the chocolate is still hot and gooey, but also delicious cold. Try not to eat too many in one go!

Cake and cookies again

3 Replies to “Celebrating It’s not easy being greedy’s birthday with chocolate beer cake and choc chip cookies”

  1. Happy Belated Birthday! We really love the sound of this chocolate beer cake and it looks like you did a fantastic job of baking it! Especially love the thick layer of icing 😉

    1. Thanks that’s very kind! I am not sure that icing can ever be too thick 😉

  2. OMG the chocolate beer cake looks amazing!!!!

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