A wonderful blend of fudgy brownie and intense chocolate Guinness cake, these little buns with added oomph of cherry beer make for a perfect addition to an afternoon tea spread or as a gift for a loved one. The beer brings a subtle fruityness to the background which works equally well in the buttercream too, giving it this lovely dusky pink colour and awesome flavour. Midsummer is of course the best time of year for British cherries so if it's not too hot for choc, these are equally great on an afternoon picnic... You can grab the Lindemans Cherry beer here at a very reasonable £1.35 a bottle. Order at least 4, believe me, you'll love it that much. They also do a raspberry beer which could be equally lovely or indeed the favourite beer of the recipient could be added - play around! Beer and cake is definitely a winning combo...
200g 80%+ dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
200g golden caster sugar
125g light soft brown sugar
130g plain flour
150ml Lindemans Cherry Beer
200g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
100ml Lindemans Cherry Beer (you may not need all of it)
Start with your cakes and melt the chocolate and butter together by either popping in the microwave at 30 second intervals or in a bowl over a boiling pan of water until it's lovely and smooth. Add your sugar and stir through until melted (don't fret if it's still a bit grainy!). Sift in your flour and fold through before adding your eggs one at a time. Slowly pour in your beer so as not to make it froth up too much and give a good whisk/stir to ensure it's a lovely smooth batter.
Using cake spray or butter, thoroughly grease your 12 hole bun tin and then using an ice cream scoop divide the mixture evenly between the holes. About 3/4 of the way up does the trick for me. Bake for around 20-25 minutes, checking with a skewer after 20 to see if the centres are done. For a fudgier centre, the skewer can come out with a bit of mix on and they'll be deliciously gooey in the middle.
Leave to cool entirely in the tin and then upturn your cooling rack on to the top and flip over in one solid motion. Give a little tap to each bit and they should all come out in one - if not run a knife around the edges and they should loosen nicely.
While they're cooling, pop your softened butter and icing sugar in a mixer and beat together vigorously for around 10 minutes- it seems ages but it should be super fluffy and perfectly white by this stage. Add the cherry beer bit by bit until you have a wonderful dusky pink colour and the desired flavour coming through. Don't worry if it looks like it's split - just leave it to harden and then beat up again to re-fluff and it should be as good as new!
Fit a piping bag with a simple large circle nozzle and pipe a dollop of icing on each of the cakes. Top with a cherry and a sprinkling of icing sugar if you wish. Give to someone you love.