There is beer in my cake.

The other day, I got a request: -”A beer cake, would be nice”. Were my ears deceiving me, beer and cake, my brain was not making the connection, beer and cake who would have thought it but why not? Don’t you find it strange that wine is top of the list, followed by spirits when evoking food but beer is seldom talked about? Fruit cakes are not exactly my type of cooking, therefore, I needed a reliable recipe and moreover, I would have to pay attention if the result was going to be an ale cake and not a hell cake.

However, the next part of the sentence, which came “a little lot” later was: “there is one on “Woman’s hour” website”.
Aah aah, this had been thought through, planned and premeditated, as unless I am very mistaken, I don’t think that "he" is a listener or reader of this particular BBC radio programme. Julie Duff of Church Farmhouse Cakes’ recipe happens to have all the qualities required and the result I am told was delicious. So I will reproduce it (the recipe) faithfully for you here:

Julie Duff's beer Fruit Cake
Ingredients:225g raisins/225g sultanas/350g currants/75g citrus peel/250ml strong English ale/225g butter/225g dark brown muscovado sugar/1 tablespoon black treacle/4 large eggs, lightly beaten/225g plain flour/1 teaspoon mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
In a large bowl, steep the fruits and the citrus peel in the ale, leaving it for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in the treacle and then slowly add the eggs, flour and spice, a little at a time until thoroughly mixed together.
Stir in the steeped fruits and pile the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm round cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for one hour, reducing the temperature to 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for a further 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly. Because of the quantity of liquid used in making this cake, it may take a little longer to cook, but don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.
Cover with a cloth and leave the cake in the tin to become cold, then turn it out and peel the greaseproof paper away.
It freezes well.


Chef JP said...

Wonderful recipe---my gran'ma used to make something similar to this.

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Thanks for this. I find amazing & quiet reassuring, how simple good recipes evolve just a little and manage to survive the wrinkles of time.



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