Date and Beer Cake

Christmas recipes continue. If you read my earlier post, I did promise a cheat's version for a Christmas cake. And at Christmas time, I keep my promises and I'm posting the recipe today. This is a treasure of a recipe, again,  found through Pinterest. I was skeptical about making it the first time, considering it used beer, I wondered if the froth really was going to help the cake bake, but with a little nudge I decided to try anyway. This recipe is super simple, turns out great and having tried it more than a couple of times, I can tell it's fool proof. I call this my cheat's version of a christmas cake, because it bakes to a lovely dark brown and also the dates make it really moist. If you haven't soaked any dry fruits, go ahead and make this cake with just the dates and nuts, but if you have, I suggest you add a scoopful of the dry fruits with the dates to this cake and you're going to get real close to tasting a Christmas fruit cake, and yes with only half the trouble.

Also this recipe makes quite a large cake, a 10 inch round cake to be precise. If you don't have that large a cake tin, use 2 smaller cake tins and adjust the baking time accordingly.

I have modified the original recipe, skipping the cinnamon powder and replacing the walnuts with casehwnuts, simply because I didn't have either of these ingredients at home. And by now you'd have figured out my rule, if it isn't there, do without it and it works almost every time. I have also modified the quantities of the ingredients a bit. However, I did stick to using Carlsberg beer like the original recipe.

To make the cake, do the usual process first. Prepare your baking tin, greasing it with butter and dusting it with flour. Then sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Chop the dates, though not necessarily fine, chop it small, so you don't run the risk of the dates sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Chop the cashew nuts as well ,toss them together and coat them with about a tbsp of the flour mixture, again, this is to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom if the pan when you bake.

Back to usual cake making process, beat the butter, and sugar till creamy. This recipe uses brown sugar. It's available in most supermarkets and of course Nilgiris is pretty well stocked usually. Then go in the eggs, one at a time.

The recipe uses 2 cups of beer, which you alternatively fold into the batter with the flour mixture. Finally go in the dates and nuts and the cake bakes for about 1 hr 10 mins. If you're using 2 smaller cake tins, it should take a bit lesser.

And there 70 mins later you have your cheat's Christmas cake ready and you didn't even have to line the tin with baking paper, or soak your fruits for weeks. Give this recipe a try and I can promise you, that you are going to love it and keep coming back to it. Happy Christmas time folks, and there'll be a couple more Christmas recipes soon.

Date and Beer Cake 

Makes 1, 10 inch round cake

Ingredients :

300 gms plain flour
a pinch of salt
2 tsp baking soda
125 gms dates, finely chopped
50 gms cashewnuts chopped
200 gms butter
225 gms brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of beer

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 10 inch round cake tin and dust with flour
2. Chop the dates and cashewnuts.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Use 2 tbsp of this mixture to coat the dates and nuts. Keep aside.
4. Beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time.
5. Fold in the flour mixture with the beer alternatively, starting and ending with flour.
6. Fold in the dates and cashewnuts.
7. Pour batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hr 10 minutes , till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.