Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Beer Cake with Stoodley Stout

Perfect for the coming colder months, this easy to make beer cake is low in fat & packed with flavour courtesy of the dates, walnuts, spices and stout.   

Beer cake made with date, walnuts, spices and stout

It's now becoming noticeable that the days are shortening.  Only a few weeks ago the sun shone from high in the sky at a time only known to the milkman, and now when we awaken from our slumber to the sound of the bedroom alarm the sun is struggling to climb above the horizon.  Even the artificial sun of the streetlights, which the moths waltz and tango around, are being switched on earlier.

The change of season to the darker, colder months often sees us crave rib-sticking stews, slow cooked casseroles and fruity crumbles draped with custard.  Not to mention moist, flavoursome, and filling rich fruit cakes.



Beer cake made with date, walnuts, spices and stout


Stoodley Stout from Little Valley Brewery

Our first cake suitable for the fast approaching autumnal season came about after being contacted by Little Valley Brewery, who asked if we'd like to try one of their popular vegan and organic beers, Stoodley Stout, in a bake.   Little Valley Brewery is a small family run brewery, established only a few years ago in 2005, located here in the Pennine hills of Yorkshire.  Living in a vegetarian household, I was heartened when I learnt that every one of their numerous beers were suitable for vegans, meaning that finings like gelatin or isinglass (produced from the swim bladders of fish) aren't used to filter their beers.  Not only that, the vast majority of their products are organic too.  In addition, they have a raft of awards, having recently been awarded Best of Organic Market for their Vanilla Porter, which sounds as though it'd be amazing in a chocolate cake or pudding!






Being upfront, I'll openly admit that I'm not a beer, ale, lager or even stout drinker.  In fact, I've never even tried a beer cake.  So when Little Valley Brewery contacted me I was super keen to try out this dark and smooth stout in a bake, wondering what it would be like.

A perfect cake for Autumn, this beer cake is packed with flavour and stores well

Happily, they even provided a fabulous beer cake recipe for me to try their stout in.  Noticing that the stout included orange peel amongst its organic ingredients, I adapted the recipe slightly by including some orange zest to enhance that which is in the drink.  I also used buckwheat flour given that I had some in the cupboard, but regular plain flour would work equally well.  The recipe itself was straight forward to make and produced a loaf cake which was low in fat and packed with flavour.  Sticky, naturally sweet dates. Crunchy, nutritious walnuts.  Warming, aromatic spices.  Dark, smooth, flavoursome stout.

Ready for slicing, this beer cake holds all of its charm in the inside

Recalling the phrase 'don't judge a book by its cover', this beer cake may not be much of a looker from the outside, but once sliced into it begins to reveal its character.  Being light, moist, with a sticky crust akin to gingerbread and rich in both colour and flavour, this beer cake certainly didn't disappoint.  For those, like me, who may not be beer or stout drinkers, the distinctive stout taste is not over powering and mingles beautifully with the flavours of the cake ingredients.  It's certainly one to try.

An easy to make homemade beer cake, containing dates, walnuts, spices and stout.






  

Let's get to it and bake!




print recipe

Beer Cake with Stoodley Stout
Perfect for the colder months, this easy to make beer cake is low in fat and packed with flavour courtesy of the dates, walnuts, spices and stout.   
Details
Hands-on time: 20-25Cook time:     Yield: 1 large loaf cake

Specific Equipment
     1 x 900g / 2lb loaf tin (measuring approx  25cm x 11cm x 7cm)
Ingredients
  • 80g Halved Walnuts
  • 300g Pitted Dates
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 200g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Orange, zest of
  • 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g Plain Flour or Buckwheat Flour
  • pinch Salt
  • 7g Baking Powder
  • pinch Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 250ml Little Valley Brewery's Stoodley Stout

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 c / 160 Fan / Gas 42. Prepare the baking tin. Grease and fully line the baking tin with greaseproof paper.3. Prepare the ingredients. Chop each walnut half into about 6 pieces. Chop the dates, checking for rogue stones as you do so. Place the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the three spices into a bowl and stir to combine. Mix the walnuts and dates with 2 tablespoons of the measured spiced flour. Set aside. 4. Start to make the batter. Cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest either with a hand held electric beater or wooden spoon until it is soft, fluffy and paler in colour. Add the egg and beat again, scraping the mixture down from the side of the bowl with a spatula as necessary and beating again. Sieve around a third of the spiced flour into the batter. Use a metal spoon or spatula to fold this in. Pour about a third of the measured stout into the mixture and gently combine. Continue adding some flour then stout until it has all been incorporated into the batter.5. Add the walnuts and dates. Add the prepared walnuts and dates to the batter. Use the metal spoon or spatula to gently stir them into the mixture.6. Fill the loaf tin. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, using the back of the spoon to level it out.7. Bake. Place the loaf tin into the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for 60 - 70 minutes. You may need to rotate the tin after 50 minutes of baking. The cake will be ready when a skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.8. Cool. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow it to stand in the cake tin for about 15 minutes.  Use the edges of the greaseproof paper to lift the beer cake from the tin and place it onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake to fully cool. 9. Wrap the cake. Once the cake has cooled fully, surround the cake in the greaseproof paper it was baked in and then wrap it thoroughly in tin foil.  Set it aside somewhere cool for a day or two to allow the flavours to fully develop.10. Enjoy.














Pin this Beer Cake recipe for later

An easy to make homemade beer cake, containing dates, walnuts, spices and stout.




* Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Little Valley Brewery.  I received most of the ingredients to try this recipe.  As always, all opinions are my own.




This post was shared with:

Cook Once Eat Twice, hosted by corina at Searching for Spice 

Bake of the Week hosted by helen at Casa Costello

  Link up your recipe of the week CookBlogShare





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20 comments:

  1. I can imagine that this tastes gorgeous - I've made chocolate Guinness cake a few times but was sad to learn that Guinness itself isn't suitable for veggies - I'll look out for this beer instead next time I make it.

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    1. It was absolutely lush Mandy. It lasted so well and the flavours just got better and better! I had no idea Guinness wasn't vegi, it's amazing how many beers (and wines) still use isinglass etc for filtering

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  2. Now that looks FABULOUS! I had no idea beer cake was a thing, but now I really really want to try it for myself. I absolutely love the sound of all those delicious ingredients: walnuts, dates, orange, spice - some of my absolute favourites! I can imagine the buckwheat flour would work really well with those flavours too. Definitely pinning! :-) Eb x

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    1. Aw thankyou E :-) I wasn't familiar with beer cake either to be honest, but having tried it it really is fab and will be a recipe I use again. Ooh if you enjoy all of those elements then I really think you should definitely give it a whirl Eb, and I'd love to hear how it turns out for you. To be honest I personally couldn't detect the buckwheat flour in the cake, but with it being gluten free (or at least very minimal in gluten depending upon which supplier you buy it from) it helped prevent the cake from becoming potentially tough with all of the ingredients which are stirred in. Plain flour would work just as well though.
      Thanks for your lovely comments Eb,
      Angela x

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  3. I'm not a beer fan either but the rest of the family are and this cake sound amazing. I think I shall give it a try just as soon as Bake off is over.

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    1. Ooh I'd definitely treat them to the cake once bake off is finished Jacqueline....and you never know you may enjoy it too as although you can detect the stout flavour it isn't as strong once it's baked with the other ingredients. I'd love to hear how you get on with it if you give it whirl :-) Looking forward to seeing what you bake for pastry week Jacqueline :-)
      Angela x

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    2. Made the cake with a London Porter to go with an ice cream also made with porter. Both were delicious and they went together so well. I shall be making it again!

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    3. ooh I love the idea of serving it with an icecream also made of the same beer! Fab idea! I've never tried such an icecream, I'll certainly have to give it a go :-) I'm so glad the cake was enjoyed too Jacqueline :-)
      Angela x

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  4. I don't think I've ever heard of a beer cake before either but I love sticky gingerbread type cakes and this has the type of spices in that I love in cakes too! I'm not a big fan of beer but I do drink it occasionally and like it in savoury recipes. Maybe it's time I tried it in a bake too! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice

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    1. Ooh the crust become lovely and sticky after a couple of days Corina - absolutely scrummy! I have to say that I'm not a big fan of beer either, but once the stout was baked with the other ingredients the flavour, although it was still present, was more of a background taste to the actual cake. i'd definitely try it in a bake....you'll never know if you you like it or not unless you try :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  5. this looks so good and i bet it was just lovely and moist with the beer and the fruit. The cake is a great colour too, it looks a little like a gingerbread in colour. Very delicious looking and is making me wonder of i could make one with cider seeing as thought that is my OH;s drink of choice x x

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    1. It was fabulous and moist jenny, and one of those cakes which last well and improve in flavour the longer it's left :-) Ooh cider sounds a great idea, I bt it'd be great in some sort of apple cake.
      Thanks for your lovely comment Jenny,
      Angela x

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  6. Oooh this looks lovely! I have never tried to bake with beer, apple & cider cake but never a beer fruit cake... Going to have to try this!! x

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    1. Ooh you definitely have to give it a go Midge....there's so many extra yummy flavours to be had :-) love the idea of apple and cider in a cake too :-)
      Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

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  7. Oh my hubby would love this cake! We love visiting small breweries and Yorkshire have some of the best! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    1. Oooh you'll have to make it for him then Kirsty ;-)
      Thanks for popping by and for hosting such a great linky,
      Angela x

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  8. This beer cake sounds really interesting, full of goodness and my absolute favourite spices!

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    1. I totally agree Monika, there really is an awful lot of goodness in this cake and only a fraction of the fat which is often found in cakes. They're my favourite spices too....just can't beat them,
      Angela x

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  9. My husband asks me most weeks to make an Ale cake - He would adore this! Such great autumny flavours. Thanks once again for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek

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    1. What sort of recipe do you use for your ale cake? There really is some great flavours in this Helen, what with the dates, walnuts and spice adnd the stout can certainly be picked out too.
      You're welcome Helen, thank you for hosting,
      Angela x

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