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Inspired by the Great British Bake Off or simply want to show off your skills in the kitchen? Make Mary Berry proud and show off your baking skills by creating this delectably rich and dark chocolate Old Speckled Hen chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake greene king

Yep, that’s right, this mighty fine gateau combines the cocoa stuff with a generous slosh of Old Speckled Hen beer. Definitely an excuse to get your mates round for piece of cake with a kick.

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
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted
  • Cocoa powder or grated chocolate to dust


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.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a freestanding mixer.

Add all the other ingredients, except the Old Speckled Hen. Either using an electric hand whisk or the freestanding mixer combine all the ingredients for about one minute until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Next comes the fun part, add the Old Speckled Hen a little at a time trying not to sip in-between until thoroughly combined.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for about 30–35 minutes to prevent a soggy bottom.  The cakes are cooked when pressed lightly with your little finger and the center springs back.

Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling further on a cooling rack.

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.

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 the Old Speckled Hen (what’s left of it) and mix thoroughly. Add the melted chocolate and beat until everything is glossy and smooth.

Then spread or pipe half the icing onto the bottom layer, top with the other cake and use the remaining icing to top it off.

Moist, tasty and packed with flavour, serve as part of afternoon tea or with a large dollop of freshly whipped double cream.



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