1 cup (250ml) Guinness stout (don’t include the foam when measuring)
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules
½ cup finely chopped dates
200 grams butter, chopped
150 grams dark chocolate, chopped (I used 68% cocoa)
2 cups plain flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, size 7
¾ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest 1 orange
150 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 68% cocoa)
1 teaspoon rice bran oil
6 fresh dates, pitted and sliced
Grease an 8 cup capacity loaf tin and line fully with baking paper.
Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan bake.
Put the Guinness, coffee, dates and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Cool.
Sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon together then combine with the salt and both of the sugars.
Whisk the eggs, sour cream, vanilla and the orange zest together in a large bowl then whisk in the cooled Guinness mixture. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined, ensuring there are no pockets of flour in the batter.
Pour into the tin and bake for about 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. After 40 minutes, cover the top of the loaf loosely with a piece of foil to prevent it over-browning.
Cool the loaf completely in the tin.
To finish: Heat the cream to just below boiling point. Take off the heat and add the chocolate. Leave for 1 minute then add the oil and whisk until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.
To serve: Pour the glaze over the top of the loaf, spreading it evenly and letting it drip down the sides of the cake. Leave for a few minutes then top with the dates. Makes 1 loaf
The loaf is best made 1 day ahead of eating so all the flavours have time to mingle.