Guinness might sound like an unusual ingredient to use in a chocolate cake, but it adds a rich yet earthy flavour.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 70 minutes
Serves: 4 people
1tspBicarbonate of Soda
2 - Eggs
diced, plus extra for greasing
For the topping
0.5tspCream of Tartar
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 4. Grease an 18cm round cake tin, line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper and set aside on a baking sheet.
Place the butter and cocoa in a medium pan on a medium heat to give a smooth, melted mixture, stirring occasionally. Remove and leave aside to cool a little.
Whisk the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla together in a large jug until smooth, then stir in the Guinness.
Mix the sugar, flour and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl. Add both wet mixtures and whisk everything together to give a silky, smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 75 to 80 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean from the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out of the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the meringue topping, place the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract in a large heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water without allowing the water to touch the base of the bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves, giving a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and continue to beat until really thick and glossy, which should take 6 to 8 minutes.
Sit the cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Pile the meringue on top of the cake and create a swirly pattern with a palette knife. Create a lightly toasted finish using a kitchen blowtorch (or by placing the cake briefly under a hot grill) and serve.