The Luck of the (not-so)Irish


Guinness Chocolate Cake

Luck. It’s an interesting notion. We can’t see it, but we can see the product of it. We can’t unleash it at whim, but we can enjoy it when it hits us. Some claim they have it, others say they’ve never known it, but I say we make our own. What do I mean? Well, of course I believe it’s possible to have random strokes of luck.  I for one had a wave of it last week when several things went my way and I even won a prize. What it was doesn’t matter (it was epic though), but in that very moment I felt as infinite as T-Pain, “All I do is WIN WIN WIN no matter what what what!” Ha. But like all good things, it came to an abrupt end on Wednesday, when I received the gift of a rather delicious-sized chunk of metal in my back right tyre. (I’m quite impartial to a bit of heavy metal, but that wasn’t what I had in mind). What I initially thought was the eThekwini Municipality spicing up the terrain to make my drive a little more interesting, became a substantial nightmare (except it wasn’t on Elm Street, that shit took place on North Coast Road).

Wooden Spoon with icing on

I’m not saying that there’s no such thing as luck. What I’m actually saying is that the wheel of luck and fortune appears to turn quite unpredictably. One day it lands on you and the next, well, it screws you over. Although I do believe in luck, I don’t believe that some higher being is up there throwing darts to see which mortal is about to get lucky (not in that way you sickos).

St Patrick's Day Cake

I also believe that there are many kinds of luck, and a lot of different ways to see it. For example, bad luck. That shit is septic. But why do we always see it as bad? Is it because we didn’t get what we’d hoped for at the time or maybe because we weren’t prepared to deal with getting the opposite of what we wanted? Why do we let this get us down? Why can’t we think of this “bad” luck as a differently packaged form of good luck (i.e. good luck – the remix?) Because whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, it’s always the edited luck that goes on to prevent us from a luck that’s even worse. The thing is; we will never know what worse luck our bad luck has saved us from. (And may it stay that way).

This cake is my Great Big Guinness, a tribute to the Irish and to anyone who loves them some chocolate. The cream cheese frosting is the cherry on top of a lush, rich and decadent chocolate sponge that’s just the right amount of sweetness (just like me. Ha). I do believe that a slice of it carries enough Irish luck to make even the unluckiest of folk feel better, especially on the days where the closest they get to feeling lucky is by playing some Daft Punk.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

This one’s for Carlzi who has always made her own luck, for Skye Pie who follows her luck wherever it may lead her and for my dad who always said that I had “luck like a Chinaman.” (What ever that means).

And so I leave ye with an old Irish blessing:

“May your pockets be heavy, may your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.” Or take a leaf from my clover and go out and make your own, because when all is said and done, that’s even better.

Yours in Baking, Bitching and a couple leprechauns (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a little luck!)


Great big guinness chocolate cake
The Great Big Guinness


For the Chocolate Guinness Cake:

250g of Salted Butter

1 cup of Guinness

275g of Caster Sugar

90g of Cocoa

275g of Cake Flour

2 teaspoons of Bi-carbonate of Soda

400g of Sugar

2 eggs

150ml of Sour Cream

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

150g of Cream Cheese (at room temp)

200g of Icing Sugar (you may need less or more but see how your consistency is)

100ml of Whipped Cream (actually whip it, and whip it real good!) 🙂


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
  2. Place Guinness, cocoa and butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until it is melted and combined.
  3. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Sieve flour, bicarb and sugar into a big mixing bowl and mix with a whisk. Add Guinness mixture and lightly mix.
  5. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat well with an electric mixer.
  6. Pour into a greased 9 inch spring form tin (this is the standard size one) and bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out with only a few crumbs on. Be careful not to dry it out. It must still be moist in the middle. (Moist. WORST word ever, but when you need to use it, you need to use it).
  7. Remove cake from oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the outer ring of the tin.
  8. Allow to cool completely and make the icing.
  9. Combine icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth and fold in whipped cream. Ice cake until the frosting just goes over the edges. Keep the rest of it for serving as some people love extra frosting (I know I do!)

Health hack: Switch the sugar for Xylitol dear, and dust the top with cocoa powder instead of making the frosting.


One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s