Thanks to TV Chef and author Peter Sidwell for allowing us to share his recipe for Yorkshire Porter Cake. It's easy to make, keeps for ages (if it doesn't get eaten first) and is great for summer picnics as it travels well!
This recipe is based on a traditional Irish porter cake, but have tweaked it a little and used a local beer that I found while visiting my parents in Pocklington, the town I grew up in.
175g brown sugar
450g mixed dried fruit
250ml Wold Top Brewery Marmalade Porter
1⁄2 tsp ground mixed spice
Juice and zest of 1 orange
4 large eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
290g plain flour
1 tsp of cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F or gas mark 3.
Put the butter, half the sugar, the dried fruit and beer in a large pan on a medium heat.
Add the mixed spice, orange zest and juice (I also throw the empty orange halves in while the mixture is cooking to give it a bit more flavour, but fish them out before you add the bicarb – see below).
Meanwhile use an electric whisk to mix the eggs and remaining sugar until the mixture has doubled in size and has become really light and fluffy.
When the pan ingredients have come to the boil, add the bicarbonate of soda and watch it fizz.
Remove the pan from the heat, as the mixture cools it will catch all the air the bicarb has created. From this point onwards you need to work quickly to get the cake in the oven.
Pour in the egg mixture and sift in the plain flour with the cocoa powder.
Mix it all together with a spoon and put into a 20 x 20cm cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until firm to the touch and it springs back when pressed lightly.