Beer cake is ale and hearty

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The beer scene in the UK is stronger than ever and it seems the nation’s love of the hop is making an increasing appearance in the kitchen – from beer-battered fish and steak and ale pie to chocolate stout cake. Little Valley Brewery, based in Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge is encouraging the movement from cask to kitchen.

In this brilliant new bi-montly feature Master brewer and former food scientist, Wim van der Spek, provides his top tips when it comes to incorporating beer into culinary creations.

“Beer can create another dimension of taste as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, with its sweet, sour and bitter tasting notes – working with other ingredients to create something really special. “The bitterness in beer can become overpowering, so it’s important that in lighter dishes only a small amount is used – but what is left can be served with the dish, so it’s win-win! Here’s a fab recipe for Beer Cake with Stoodley Stout/

Ingredients:

100g butter

200g brown sugar

1 egg

200g flour

½ teaspoon salt

9g baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cloves

250ml of Little Valley Brewery’s Stoodley Stout

100g walnuts

400g dates

Method:

lMix sugar and butter in one bowl.

lStir the egg with a fork and then add to the butter and sugar. Mix well.

lIn a separate bowl mix flour, salt, sodium bicarbonate, allspice and cloves.

lKeep three spoons of the flour mix separate and add the rest to the butter, sugar and egg mix.

lAdd the beer and mix carefully with the batter.

lChop the walnuts. De-stone the dates and chop. Mix the remaining flour mix with the dates and walnuts. Add this to the batter and stir carefully.

lPreheat the oven to 175°C.

lGrease the 1lb loaf tin with butter and powder with flour. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 75 minutes.

lLeave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin carefully.

lWrap in foil and store in the fridge for one day to enrich the taste.

lServe a slice of cake with a glass of the remaining Stoodley Stout.

For more information about Little Valley Brewery visit www.littlevalleybrewery or follow Little Valley on Twitter at @littlevalleyale