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Ale Cake

This cake can be eaten with a cup of coffee or tea, or served warm as a pudding.

225g raisins
225g sultanas
350g currants
75g citrus peel
250ml strong English ale
225g butter
225g dark brown muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

In a large bowl, steep the fruits and the citrus peel in the ale, leaving it for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in the treacle and then slowly add the eggs, flour and spice, a little at a time until thoroughly mixed together. Stir in the steeped fruits and pile the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm round cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for one hour, reducing the temperature to 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1/2 for a further 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly. Because of the quantity of liquid used in making this cake, it may take a little longer to cook, but don't worry, this is perfectly normal.

Cover with a cloth and leave the cake in the tin to become cold, then turn it out and peel the greaseproof paper away.