Saturday, 8 August 2015

Posh OSH Nosh

A few months ago I was reading my free ‘Metro’ on the tube, and decided to keep the recipe page. It was for a chocolate cake using Old Speckled Hen beer [OSH] I knew there were some cans of OSH here at Cornerstones. The picture in the newspaper showed a rich, dark cake…

I set to and made the cake yesterday [we couldn’t go out till the BT engineer had been to fix the broadband]
I’ve checked on the internet and this recipe appears a few times – always with this picture. The ingredients list implies that cocoa powder or grated chocolate should be dusted on to, I cannot see any, can you? Here’s the recipe
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes Total Time: 40-45 minutes 
  • 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, beaten
  • 50g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 200ml Old Speckled Hen
For the Icing:
  • 200g butter, soften
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Old Speckled Hen [OSH]
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted
  •  Cocoa powder or grated chocolate to dust
  1. Preheat the oven 180°C, fan oven 160°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of 2 x 22cm round cake-tins, with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a freestanding mixer.
  3. Add all the other ingredients, except the OSH. Using an electric hand whisk or the freestanding mixer combine all the ingredients for about one minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Add the OSH a little at a time till thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for about 30–35 minutes. The cakes are cooked when pressed lightly with your little finger and the center springs back.
  5. Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling further on a cooling rack.
  6. To make the icing: melt the chocolate in the microwave – 2-3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
  7. Beat the softened butter, gradually adding the icing sugar a spoonful at a time. Once all the icing sugar has been added, whisk the icing for about 5 minutes on a high speed with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add OSH and mix thoroughly. Add melted chocolate, beat until icing is glossy and smooth.
  8. Spread half the icing onto the bottom layer, top with the other cake, spread remaining icing on top.
Here’s my cake

Spot the difference! I made up the icing exactly as per recipe, but there was no way it was dark as the one in the picture- plus there was way too much icing. I wonder if there was a mistake in the quantities?

Or maybe the icing on the cake in their photo was made to a very different recipe? I suspect less butter and icing sugar, and more chocolate, would have given a better result. The sponge tastes OK, but the icing is rather rich. Not complaining too much!


  1. The icing in the original picture looks more like one made with much more melted chocolate. Could be a mistake in the recipe.

  2. I would eat it no matter what it looked like. Even if it had collapsed I would use a spoon.

  3. It's probably not possible to have too much icing!!

  4. The proof of the cake is in the eating and I bet it all got eaten, even if it did turn out to look a bit different to the picture. Xcathy


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