Could I use an alcohol-free Guinness for the Chocolate Guinness Cake? If so, which proportions of sugar and others do I need to change? Thanks.
Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake (from FEAST) is a moist and sticky cake. The Guinness enhances the chocolate flavour by giving a malty depth and the bitterness of the Guinness balances the sugar in the recipe, to prevent the cake from being cloying. The acidity of the stout also helps the cake to rise as it reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to produce bubbles of carbon dioxide.
As far as we are aware the alcohol-free version of Guinness is only sold in Indonesia and it is slightly on the sweet side. As we have not been able to test the cake with this alternative we are unble to recommend it as an alternative to regular Guinness. However we would like to suggest that you consider Nigella's recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread instead. This is made with milk and does not contain alcohol as ginger ale is usually non-alcoholic. It is similar in texture to the Guinness cake and has a deep and slightly spicy chocolate flavour. You could use the cream cheese frosting from the Chocolate Guinness Cake on the gingerbread if you prefer, but as the cake is made in a larger rectangular tin you will have only a thin layer. If you prefer a thick layer of frosting then we suggest making double the amount of frosting.