Saturday, March 01, 2008

How to Satisfy Everyone..

Feed them Beer Cake!

A family recipe, courtesy of my Grandma, who was taught to cook by her MIL, who was of Germanic ancestry. A passing mention of this excellent way to use up 'leftover' beer (or even those unfortunate beverages that were put in the freezer to chill and ended up freezing solid and taking two days to defrost on the side of the sink) at snb got quite a large audience (I wonder why?? knitters and alcohol?? neverrrrr!) so here it is!

**Beer Cake**

Set oven to 190 *C (400*F), grease and line a lamington tin, or double to make two 8" round cakes.

2 cups Self Raising Flour
1 small cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 cup of sultanas } I just use about two-thirds of a cup of mixed dried fruit
some citrus peel }
3 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
1 cup of beer

Mix dry ingredients, then add fruit while mixing slowly. Add butter, beat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the egg in the cup of beer, and mix in until just combined. Spread batter out in the tin. Sprinkle with a thick layer of streusel (crumble) topping before baking.
Bake about 1/2 hour - makes a reasonably dense but beautifully textured cake. Cut into squares in the tin (there is no way to get it out before slicing - all that beautiful topping leaps off in every direction if you try). Use small plates to serve it, so that you can lick the crumble topping up afterwards! It also freezes very well. (handy, because otherwise it might all be eaten in about two days and then you'd feel like making more, which would be naughty).

Streusel topping (like crumble topping)
1/2 cup Plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
enough butter to rub in to make breadcrumbs - start with a tablespoon, add more if needed.
(you can do this in the food processor, but it usually needs more butter)