We've just returned from a glorious weeks holiday in Greece.
I write that with such longing for the warmth tickling our skin, the azure-blue skies, the hot sun and the swimming in the clearest of seas. As we swam, bathed in the sun or drank very quaffable local wine into the late, balmy evenings we (yes, rather nauseatingly) kept reminding ourselves 'This is October!...Can you believe we're in October?'.
As memories of a daily diet of moussaka and baklava (or Balaclava as they became after a generous glass of Ouzo) begin to fade, I thought to bake a Greek-inspired recipe. The local store was sold out of filo pastry - clearly I'm not the only baker thinking of baking baklava as sales have shot up by 100% in Waitrose since featuring on the Great British Bake Off a couple of weeks back - so I thought a cake featuring the pot of Greek honey I secreted back in our suitcase would remind us of our wonderful week away.
Honey, Ginger and Beer Cake
For the cake:
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
115g unsalted butter at room temperature (I used Lurpak Cook's Range Baking)
125g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
150ml pale ale/beer
100g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Spray a 22cm square cake pan with Lurpak Cook's Range Cooking Mist spray and line it with baking paper. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, the spices and a pinch of salt.
3. In a second large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugars for several minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg followed by the honey.
4. Fold in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the beer and stir to combine. Fold in a further third of the flour mixture and the remainder of the beer and stir. Finally fold in the remainder of the flour mixture. Avoid overmixing.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for thirty minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clearn.
6. Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the icing: sift together the icing sugar with enough water to form a thick icing and pipe over the cooled cake. Decorate with the honeycomb pieces
- I used Lurpak Cook's Range Cooking Mist sent to me by the folk at Lurpak to test. It worked well for greasing the pan and can also be used to glaze and baste.
- Pilfering my husband's stash of beers, I used an American pale ale for this recipe. I'm more familiar with using Guinness in baking. I reckon each different beer or ale would impart a different flavour. The Brooklyn beer I used gave a biscuity, toasty smooth flavour to the cake, perfectly complimenting the honey.
- The honeycomb pieces are available from any large supermarket