Porter Cake


This cake is a heavy cake. Not heavy as in groovy but in its denseness. But it is worth it. The porter gives the cake a dark complexity that compliments the sweetness of the raisins and currants, as well as the bitterness of the mixed peel. It also gives your kitchen a very nice aroma while baking. It is fairly labor intensive, especially if you have to make your own mixed peel as I did, but I believe it to be worth it in the long run.

  • 1 lb All purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 8 oz butter or block margarine
  • 8 oz currants
  • 8 oz golden raisins
  • 4 oz mixed peel, chopped
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 12 oz soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 fl oz porter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 9 in round or 8 in square cake tin, approx. 3 1/2 in deep

Line the bottom and sides of the cake tin with greaseproof paper. Brush with a little melted butter or margarine.
Sift the flour and allspice into a large bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the fruit, mixed peel, lemon rind and sugar, mixing well to combine. Add the beaten egg.

Dissolve the soda in the Guinness, make a well in the centre of the flour and fruit mixture, and gradually work in the Guinness and soda. Mix thoroughly.

Pour into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake in the pre-heated 325°F oven for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 300°F, cover the top of the cake loosely with a sheet of greaseproof paper and bake for a further 1 – 1 1/2 -hours. You should start checking for doneness about 30 minutes after reducing teh heat to300°F.

The cake should be a deep brown colour and firm to the touch when cooked.

Leave to cool inthe tin before turning out and removing the paper.

Serve with chocolate sauce or by itself. The taste gets deeper and richer after 3-5 days.

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