Walnut and Cherry Cake with N7

The recipe from this cake is from my favourite beer-y cookbook: Cooking With Beer by Carole Fahy.

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What a splendid book it is!  Anyone would love a book that contains recipes that include recipes for Yard of Flannel (a beer and cognac beverage), Party Beer Tomatoes (thinly sliced tomatoes with beer poured over them) and Eels in Beer (versions 1 and 2).

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I probably won’t try the Eels in Beer, but there are LOADS of other recipes in this book I’m going to experiment with.  Carole puts beer in EVERYTHING.

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If you come round to my house uninvited and expecting dinner, don’t be surprised if I take Carole’s advice and do this..  “By the way, if you do have an unexpected guest, almost any tinned soup is much improved by the addition of a little beer, for an unusual flavour that will disguise its origins.”

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Nathan got me some of this soup when he went to the USA recently on condition that I never made him anything with it in (I need it for a Bette Davis recipe that will appear sometime soon on my other blog Silver Screen Suppers)  I bet he’d LOVE it if I diluted it with a bottle of Hammerton beer though…

I love the fact that this photo was in the search results when I looked up Carole’s book – why?  I have no idea.

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Colonel Saunders with Alice Cooper holding a beer.  Genius!

Anyhow, back to the cake.  This was REALLY GOOD.  Of course, I am sure it was the two tablespoons of Hammerton’s N7 that made it so…

I used tinned cherries from Waitrose rather than glace cherries, and I used walnuts from Ma and Pa Hammerton’s walnut tree.

What is “old ale” listed in the ingredients of this recipe by the way?  Is it a type of beer, or is it just some stale ale you find in a can beside the sofa a few days after you’ve had a rocking big party?

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6 oz self-raising flour

pinch salt
6 oz butter
6 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
4 oz glace cherries (halved)
2 oz walnuts (chopped)
2 tablespoons old ale

Heat oven to 350 degrees F, 175 degrees C, gas mark 4, and prepare cake tin*  Sift flour and salt together.  Cream butter in a bowl with sugar.  Beat eggs and whisk into the butter mixture.  Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with the fruit and nuts.  Fold flour into eggs and butter, a third at a time, adding fruit at the end.  Mix with beer.  Turn into cake tin and cook for 1 hour in pre-set oven.  When cake is cooked a fine skewer inserted in it should come away clean.

For cooks who don’t have Imperial measurements on their scales, I find this site brilliant for translating into grams and/or cup measurements – Convert-me.com
*Carole uses the same method as my mum to prepare her cake tin.  She butters the sides and bottom of the tin and then lines with well buttered greaseproof paper – cut to shape (her italics!).  She folds the strip that goes around the inside over by 1/2 inch and makes 1/2 inch cuts in the fold so that you can overlap it and lie flat on the bottom, underneath the greaseproof paper circle for the bottom.  As I had a bit of time, I did prepare my cake tin like this and it was worth the effort.  My cake looked absolutely perfect when I turned it out!
A big hit with my work colleagues!

Jane Wyatt’s Beer Bread

My movie star cooking blog Silver Screen Suppers was ten years old yesterday.  Crikey!  I did a post about my top 50 film star recipes, and this was one.  I had no idea how easy it would be to make bread with beer.  No mucking around with yeast, wondering if your water is warm enough to activate it, or too hot and will KILL IT.  With beer, the beer does all the work.  Magic.

I soooooooo recommend trying this.  First time I made beer bread, I made it with Hammerton’s Islington:

Jane Wyatt's Beer Bread with Hammerton's Islington

Second time with Hammerton’s Pentonville.

Jane Wyatt's Beer Bread with Hammerton's Pentonville

Next time around, I’m going to try it with Life On Mars I think…

Life on Mars

Thanks Jane!  I love your bread recipe…

Jane Wyatt

Jane Wyatt’s Beer Bread

(Makes 1 loaf)

¼ cup butter

3 cups self-raising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 can beer*

Melt butter in preheated 325 degrees (160 degrees C) oven.  Mix together remaining ingredients; pat into a greased loaf pan.  Drizzle melted butter over bread dough.  Bake at same temperature 1 hour.

* I used one 330ml bottle of Hammerton beer and 1 and1/2 tablespoons water.  I baked my bread at 140 C as I have a fan oven.