Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Favorite Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is a fairly simple recipe that makes a delicious Sweet and Sour chicken. The frying can take a little while, but the results are worth it. I used to make this for my kids, and they loved it. It was a big treat back in the days. If you are concerned about the calories in the fried version, of course you can just stir-fry or grill the chicken, but it won't be the same crispy succulent dish.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3 Lb. Chicken, boned
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Flour
Hot oil for deep-frying

Beat egg, salt and soy sauce together. Dip chicken in flour, then egg, and then flour again. Fry until browned and crispy. Drain and keep warm.

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/4 Cup Catsup
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water
1 Cup Pineapple Chunks
1/2 Cup Green Pepper
3 Green Onions, sliced thin

In a saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, catsup and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and stir in cornstarch, which has been mixed with the 1/4 cup water.
Stir until thickened. Add veggies and chicken and mix until coated with the sauce.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lavender Recipes

A selection of Lavender recipes, collected over the years, plus a Choc. Guinness cake at the bottom for Button and Kate. The lavender chutney recipe is my own development. Most of the rest I haven't tried yet. I've edited some to suit my own personal ingredient choices. Enjoy!

Apple Lavender Chutney
Makes 12 half-pint jars with some extra for sampling
Mix together in a heavy-bottomed pot:18 cups tart organic apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1" chunks
6 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp. salt
3 cups sliced crystallized ginger
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. Garam Masala
4 3-inch pieces cinnamon stick
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. dried Lavender flowers or 4 Tbsp. fresh
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook down on medium-low heat until mixture is thick. Stir frequently, especially towards the end, to prevent sticking and burning. Add lavender during last 5 minutes of cooking
Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars. Seal. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove from canner and cool in a place free from drafts for 24 hours. Label and store for at least one month to develop flavors.
I like lots of ginger, but various quantities can be altered to suit your own taste.

chocolate-honey tart
Bon Appétit April 2008 Rozanne Gold
Servings: Makes 10 to 12 servings
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
9 whole chocolate graham crackers (about 5 ounces)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons dried lavender blossoms*
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch diametertart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray. Grind graham crackers with 3 tablespoons butter and honey in processor until fine crumbs form. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not up sides) of prepared tart pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Cool.
Bring cream and lavender just to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Place chocolate in medium saucepan. Strain hot cream mixture into saucepan with chocolate. Stir over medium-low heat just until melted and smooth. Add cocoa powder and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; stir until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate mixture over crust in tart pan. Chill at least 45 minutes (chocolate will be slightly soft after 45 minutes and firm after 2 hours). Cut into wedges and serve. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
* Also called culinary lavender buds; available at many natural foods stores and some farmers' markets and from Dean and Deluca

Fruit Plate Idea
sliced seasonal fruits with seasonal berries
sprinkled with lavender thyme and mint
soft fresh goat cheese
olive oil croustades
thin sliced proscuitto

Lavender-Honey roast Chicken(Annie O’Driscoll Café Cuvee)
½ cup mild organic honey
½ cup fresh lavender blossoms, finely chopped or 1/3-1/2 cup dried, stems reserved
1 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 fresh roasting chicken,
about 4 ½ lbs1-cup chicken stock

Warm honey in a small saucepan and add the lavender blossoms. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the honey, then combine the rest with ¾ cup softened butter, the garlic and salt.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash and dry the chicken and remove the giblets and neck. Gently loosen but do not break the skin as you slide your hand between the breast skin and meat. Proceed to the neck area, and then loosen down as far as you can reach into the leg and thigh. Spread the lavender butter throughout chicken, under the skin. Pull the skin back tightly to seal in the butter.Place the lavender stems in the cavity of the chicken. Season the cavity with salt. Tie the legs together and place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan. Spread the chicken with the reserved honey and sprinkle with salt. Pour 1 cup of water in the pan.Roast for 145 minutes, or until the skin is nicely browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. and roast the chicken 60 to 75 minutes longer, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife. Check about halfway through; if the pan is getting dry, add a little more water. If the skin is getting too dark, tent it with foil. When done, remove the chicken from the pan, tent with foil and let rest 25 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, defat the pan drippings, and then deglaze the pan with stock and heat gently. Whisk in the remaining ¼ cup butter. Correct for salt and serve over the carved chicken.

Lavender is part of the Labiatae family, which also counts rosemary, thyme and sage as members. Herbes de Provence mixture: can include basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and fennel seed. Has been seen in jellies and tisane (a soothing herbal tea)

Lavender Salt for Meat

Lavender Biscotti
Equipment needed: Cookie sheets, 1 small and 1 large mixing bowl,whisk or hand beater
2 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated sugar
3 Tbsp Dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup Melted butter
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Lemon rind
Juice of 1 lemon3 Tbsp Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla or lemon extract
Optional: melted chocolate for dipping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl combine all dryingredients, lavender and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, honey, lemon, lemon rind, milk, and vanilla (mayuse beater on slow instead of the whisk). Add to flour mixture. Stirwell. Dough will be soft and sticky. Spoon onto cookie sheet into 2"log" shapes: approximately 2 " wide. Bake 35 minutes until golden.Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes. Place on board, cut into 1" wideslices. Place on sides on cookie sheets. Return to oven cook 20minutes longer, turning once. Cool on rack. Optional to dip ordecorate with melted chocolate. Yield: 2 dozen

Lavender Rum Cake
Equipment needed: 8 " tube or Bundt pan, Large mixing bowl, Small mixing bowl, Medium saucepan, Cooling rack
Ingredients: I would try to find organic mixes or use my fave yellow bundt cake recipe
1 Package Yellow Cake Mix
1 Package Vanilla pudding
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Rum
1/2 cup Water
4 Medium Eggs
1/2 cup Pecans Chopped
1 tsp Dried Lavender florets

Glaze: (enough for 2 cakes)
1/4 cup Butter or margarine
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour cake pan. In a small mixing bowl, toss chopped nuts with 1 teaspoon lavender. Sprinkle nut mixture over the bottom of the pan. In large bowl, beat together cake mix, pudding, vegetable oil, rum, and water. Add eggs and theremaining lavender until smooth. Do not over-beat. Pour batter overnuts. Bake for 60 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick comes outclean. Cool down for a minute or two and then turn out onto wire rackto cool completely.
To make the Glaze: Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil,stirring constantly. (Sugar should be completely dissolved.) Removefrom heat and let stand for 1 minute. Add rum and stir. Poke holesinto the cake with a skewer or long-tined fork. Brush and/or spoon 1/2the glaze over the cake.
The glaze keeps well in the refrigerator. The cake also freezes well if wrapped tightly in plastic.

Martin's Lavender-Lemon Salmon Risotto
You may also try this recipe with Chicken Sausages instead of the salmon.
Equipment needed: Large saute pan or risotto pan.
1 lb Salmon fillet
4 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 cup Arborio rice
24 oz Vegetable stock, low sodium
3 cup White table wine
1/4 cup Meyer Lemon juice
1 tsp Fresh Lavender florets
1 3/4 cup Grated Jarlsburg cheese
2 Tbsp Fine olive oil to finish

Brush the fish with olive oil prior to grilling to seal in the juices. Grill the salmon. Use a fork and flake salmon; pieces should not belarger than bite size. Cover and set aside. (You may prepare the fishup to a day ahead and refrigerate.)
Over Medium heat, saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until theonion is glassy (about 5 minutes). Add the rice and saute until therice becomes slightly translucent with small white dots in the middle.(This takes about one minute.) Add one cup of the vegetable stock.Stir continuously. As the liquid cooks down, continue to add liquidone cup at a time, alternating between the vegetable stock and thewhite wine. (I like the wine flavor, and I think it makes for a dishthat is much lower in sodium.) After 10 minutes, add the lemon juiceand continue stirring. After about 18 minutes, begin testing the riceevery 2 minutes. (NOTE: This entire process of adding liquid takes about 20 minutes, and you must stir continuously.) When the rice isalmost done, add the fresh lavender. Remove the rice from the heatafter 2 minutes. Add the flaked salmon and mix well. Add the cheeseand olive oil and mix again. Spoon into a serving bowl and enjoy.Yield: 4-6 Servings

Lavender-Apricot Breakfast Rolls

Equipment needed: 8 inch cake pan, mixing bowl, rolling pin
2 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp French Sea Salt
3 Tbsp Chilled butter cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh lavender Flowers (or 1 Tbsp dried)
1/2 cup Milk
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp Apricot preserves
1 Tbsp Chopped dried apricots
Olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, andsalt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or fingers untilmixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in lavender. Add milk and egg,stirring just until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly flouredsurface. Knead 5 times. Roll into a 9 by 7 inch rectangle. Mix driedapricots into preserves. Spread apricot preserve mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Beginning with long side, roll up jelly-rollfashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into nine 1 inch slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in an 8 inch no stickround cake pan lightly coated with olive oil. Sprinkle the slices withthe 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or untilgolden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes outclean.
Yield 9 servings.

Lavender Lemon Chicken
Serves: 4
1/3-1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 large onion
1 (4-7) pound chicken
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons flour or Wondra

In a small bowl or mortar and pestle coarsely crush lavender and thyme. Then stir together with butter, zest, and salt and pepper until well combined. Spoon mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a 4-inch log. Chill compound butter, until firm, at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days. Preheat oven to 400 F.
Rinse chicken; pat dry. Reserve 2 tablespoons herb butter for gravy. Slide hand under skin of chicken breast to loosen skin from meat and placein slices of the herb butter. Spread remaining herb butter over outside ofchicken. Truss chicken. Place the chicken in a flameproof roasting pan. Slice the onion into large pieces and scatter around the chicken. Arrange birds in a flameproof roasting pan. Roast bird in middle of oven until aninstant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (be carefulnot to touch bone) registers 1700 to 1750 F. It will take roughly 55-65minutes for a four pound chicken and 8 minutes more per every pound overthat. Lift chicken and tilt, emptying any juices from cavity into roastingpan. Remove the chicken to the platter, cover loosely, and make the following sauce.
Add vermouth to pan. Place pan over high heat; bring vermouth to boil, scraping up any browned bits and onions. Strain the mixture into cup with pan juices. Spoon fat off. Pour back into the pan. Bring to a simmer; melt reserved 2tablespoons herb butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.Add flour or Wondra; whisk until smooth. Serve with gravy.

Lavender Apple Biscuits
Developed by Robyn of Herbsearch
Apple part:
3 -5 (if small) baking apples ( Stayman, York, Granny Smith etc. )peeled, sliced and diced small.
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
zest from 1 lemon, chopped
2 Tbsp Organic lavender buds, grind together with 1/4 cup of the white sugar in blender or 2nd coffee grinder. Don't use your daily grinder
lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, let sit overnight, strain before adding to biscuits.
Biscuits use fave biscuit recipe and homemade vanilla cream, if desired
2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup French Vanilla liquid creamer -available in dairy section of grocery stores
Lavender apples from above.

Follow the directions on the box for basic rolled biscuits adding strained apples.
Serve with honey or apple butter.

Lavender and Honey Salad Dressing
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon juice1 Crushed Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon Coarse Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Dried lavender Flowers
Whisk all ingredients togetherStand for 30 mins to allow flavours to infuse Whisk again and serve.NB This dressing will store in a screw lid jar in the fridge for up to 1week.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Lavender Marinade

1 cup of red wine
4 cloves Garlic crushed lavender sprigs with flowers
( crushed)rosemary sprigs
(crushed)fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
Lamb chops
Marinate lamb Chops for at least an hour or longerthen grill to desired doneness , marinade may be reduced , and strained ,and used as a sauce if desired

Lavender Sorbet
250 grams Castor Sugar
500ml Water
2 Level Tablespoons Juice from one lemon

Dissolve the castor sugar using half of the water and heating in asaucepan. Stir until liquid.Bring to the boil add the lavender and half of the lemon juice.Remove from heat and stand to cool.Filter the mixture through a strainer to remove lavender flowers andadd the remainder of the water.Taste the mix and add further lemon juice to taste.If you have an ice cream maker then follow the manufacturers instructions to complete the blending and freezing process. If notmove to step 6.The process of freezing the sorbet will involve a freeze and blend process. Pour the mixture into a suitable lidded container with alarge base and place in the fast freeze section of the freezer.Once the mixture starts to freeze (1-2 hours depending on your unit) remove from the freezer and immediately place in the liquidizerfor 30 seconds Place again in the fast freezer.Repeat stages 6, 7 & 8 twice more.Serve in individual dishes decorated with fresh mint and lavendersprigs.

Blueberries with Orange Liqueur and Lavender
5 half-pint jars
1 cup Orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup Water1 cup Sugar
1 1/2 lb Fresh blueberries
20 ea Fresh lavender flower heads
Prepare the jars, lids and boiling-water bath.Combine liqueur, water and sugar in a pan and cook over medium-highheat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and the mixturehas come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.Meanwhile, pick over, wash and dry the blueberries. Then pack themin hot, dry jars, placing four lavender flower heads in each jar.Leave 1/2" headspace. Pour the hot liquid into the jars, justcovering the berries. Wipe rims with a clean towel and attach lidssecurely. Place the jars in the boiling-water bath and, when waterr eturns to a full boil, process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars,cool, label and store.

Pink Lavender Lemonade
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Cups sugar
6 Large strawberries -- hulled or1/4 Cup pink hibiscus flowers -- dried pesticide free
1/4 Cup lavender leaves -- chopped -or Dried Lavender
2 1/4 Cups lemon juice
1/2 Cup sugar -- optional
1 fresh lavender flowers for -- garnish
The original recipe calls for hibiscus flowers and suggested strawberriesas a substitute. I have reversed the order. As well, I don't think it isnecessary to use distilled water in most locations. In medium saucepan,combine 2 1/2 cups water, sugar and hibiscus flowers (or hulledstrawberries). Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat.Simmer 5 minutes to extract pink from flowers. Remove from heat. Stir inlavender leaves. Cover and cool. Strain cooled herb liquid into largepitcher or jar (if using strawberries, gently press juice from berries.)Add remaining 2 1/2 cups water and lemon juice. Stir well. Add 1/2 cupmore sugar, if desired. Just before serving, add ice cubes. Pour intochilled glasses.Garnish with lavender flowers.
YIELD: 6-8 Servings

Lavender Soap Balls
Save up those odds and ends of old soap (my grandmother always did that!), add a little lavender, and you can make the sweetest, most relaxingly-scented soap balls to give as gifts or keep to use with great pleasure yourself!

You won’t believe how easy and how much fun these are to make. Children love to help, too, and there is no cleverer way to get them to wash their hands. (Moms will like the fact that lavender not only smells heavenly, it is also antibacterial.) You will end up with a charming finished product, very soothing to the senses. All in practically no time!

2 bars mild, unscented castile or vegetable-based soap (or the equivalent in odds-and-ends)1/2 cup dried lavender blossoms (available online from many herb companies)5 drops essential oil of lavender1/4 cup warm water
To Make:1. Using a cheese grater, grate the soap into a large bowl.
2. Add the lavender blossoms to the grated soap.
3. Add the essential oil to the soap mixture, combining thoroughly.
4. Add the warm water and stir.
5. Roll heaping tablespoons of the mix into balls.
6. Place on a cookie sheet and allow to air-dry completely, which will take approximately 2 days.

Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcake with Rosemary and Chantilly
Cream Lavneder or Thyme will work as well

Yields: 6 shortcakes
Method: biscuit method
Fancy Equipment: parchment paper
Ingredients for the Shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, diced
2 eggs
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg beaten plus 1 tablespoons milk, for egg wash
6 small top sprigs of rosemary

Ingredients for Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote:
3 cups rhubarb, leaves removed, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt1 pint strawberries, washed and quartered

Ingredients for Chantilly Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Biscuits:Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a course meal with pea-sized pieces of fat. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, rosemary and heavy cream. Add to the flour and mix until just blended. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.
Place the dough out onto a well-floured surface and form the dough into a rough circle, one inch high. Cut 6 biscuits with a fluted or straight cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the top of each biscuit with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is slightly golden around the edges. Do not open the oven door during the first 15 minutes, to allow the biscuits to rise properly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Make the Compote:Add the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and add half of the strawberries. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just tender but still toothy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the rest of the strawberries to the cooled mixture and stir to incorporate.
Make the Chantilly Cream:Beat the cold cream with a wire whisk or hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks just barely begin to form.
Assemble the Shortcake:Split shortcake in the middle, like a hamburger bun. Place the bottom of the biscuit into a shallow bowl and spoon some of the compote over the biscuit. Add a generous spoonful of Chantilly cream. Place the top part of the biscuit on the cream and top with a small amount of compote and another dollop of cream. Place a small sprig of rosemary on the cream. Repeat for each shortcake.
Chef's Notes:Combine the dough scraps to create additional biscuits if desired. The second batch of biscuits will be slightly tougher and will not rise as high as the first, but will have the same flavor.
Biscuits can be split into three layers if sliced carefully. This will allow you to stack more ingredients for a more dramatic presentation.
Thyme or lavender in place of the rosemary also work well in this recipe. Lemon zest can also be added.

Wild Turkey with Lavender Masala

1/2 cup garam masala (recipe follows)
2 tsp. dried lavender leaves
1 wild turkey, neck and giblets removed (12-14 lbs.)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup bacon fat or 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for basting

Combine garam masala and lavender in a small bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.Rinse back and front cavities of turkey under cold running water; pat dry.Season turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. Rub with bacon fat, and sprinkle with spice mixture; rub to coat evenly. Place in a large metal bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 24 hours or at least overnight.Preheat oven to 425 degrees, wings under turkey; tie legs together; with kitchen twine. Place in a large heavy roasting pan fitted with a rack. Roast 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees.Continue roasting, basting turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes (add 1/2 cup water if pan becomes dry). Tent with foil after 1 hour. Roast until juices run clear when thigh is pieced, 2 1/2 to 3 hours total. Insert an instant-read thermometer in thickest part of thigh, avoidingthe bone. Temperature should reach 180 degrees. Let rest 30 minutes before carving.

Garam Masala
Garam Masala is a toasted blend of spices used frequently in Indian cooking instead of the ubiquitous Curry Powder. It can now be purchased in the spice section of many Natural Foods stores, but it is easy and fun to make your own, and the results are astronomically better. I often halve this and store it in a glass jar. It keeps for quite awhile.
5 3" Cinnamon sticks
10 Cardamom Pods, whole
½-Cup Cloves, whole
½-Cup Cumin Seeds, whole¼-Cup Coriander Seeds, whole
½-Cup Peppercorns, whole
Roast together in one layer, at 200 degrees, for 30 minutes. Cool and grind in a spice or coffee grinder

Chocolate Guinness Cake for Button and Kate:
From Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson

1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Ingredients for the topping:
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the over to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.
Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter — in spoons or slices — and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the frosting. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the confectioner's sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsifted confectioners' sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
Makes about 12 slices