Monday 17 February 2014

Smallholding Porter Cake.

 You don't have to have a smallholding to make this cake.  But we live on a smallholding (less than 20 acres) and I decided to call it such.  Porter cake is made with Guinness or Murphy's.  I prefer Murphy's because it's a Cork drink.  I suppose you could make it with any kind of stout.  Gosh I miss English Real Ale.  CAMRA is the most successful pressure group in the UK.  Apparently hops were never grown in Ireland.  So they imported malted barley for the Guinness.   I don't mind an odd pint of Murphy's or Guinness but I also like a really good English bitter like Newcastle Brown.  A northern pint with a frothy head.

So how do you make it Dave?  Right!  Get yourself  250ml of Murphys or Guinness, 1kg of mixed dried fruit, 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar or 250g if you have been metricized - ouch!  Four cups (half a Kg) of plain flour, 3 medium eggs, 1 tsp of mixed spice, half tsp of baking soda and some rind (grated) from a lemon or orange if you prefer?

Melt butter and sugar into your Muphy's in a saucepan.  Then add the fruit and simmer for about ten minutes.  Leave it to go cold add your sieved flour, lemon rind, spices and baking soda.  Next.  Beat your 3 eggs and mix it in with a spoon (preferably wood) and pour it into a greased cake tin  (we used a loaf tin)(25 cm/ 9 inch) and then bake it in your Stanley, Aga, Rayburn, Oven for about one and three quarter hours.  The best way to see if it's cooked properly is to push a metal skewer into the centre of your cakey wake (I sound like Wurzel Gummidge) and if it comes out clean, it's cooked!    Enjoy!
"More tea Vicar? "  You might as well.  You ate all the bloody cake!"

I think it will keep for at least a week if you place it in a tin.  No chance of that at our house.  Even my cattle like cake and bananas!  Our cat even eats curry!  I reckon the cake would be great after a few hours digging on ye olde vegetable plot.  Nice today for a change.  Have you ever thought of getting an allotment or smallholding?  Anybody got any good biscuit recipes?


  1. That cakey wakey , unbelievably, looks good enough to eat my good man. Being as I have never baked anything before, nothing not a sausage, I do believe that I may well be tempted to try this. After all, me, in a kitchen, with Guinness? what could possibly go wrong.....

  2. Howdy John. Yes it tastes excellent. There's loads of Guinness recipes on ye old Tinternet and T'web. I also noticed on it that Camel and UFO are playing Parr Hall near Warrington, very soon. One is very blessed with classic rock bands over there. Let me know if you like the cakey wakey, John. Thanks for your comment!

  3. UFO bloody hell there's a name from the past, I'll be checking tinternet for t'other alcohol fuelled offerings my good man.

  4. Yes UFO, John. I think Strangers In The Night is thee classic rock album of the seventies along with Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous. I was lucky enough to see Thin Lizzy with Phil Lynott. But I have never seen UFO. Not yet any road. My learned friend from over the seas informs me this merry morn that Kansas are playing Germany and Sweden rock festivals. Why is Germany the capital of heavy rock? What's your favourite classic rock single John? Mine's probably 'Freebird' or Parisienne Walkways. Long live rock n roll John!

  5. I do love cake. And that looks like good cake. Lately everyone has been making me cake. I worry that one day I'll get fat but I guess I'll have to slow down first!
    I know what you mean about English ale but I do like a good glass of cider as well!

  6. Every body puts on weight when they get to middle age, Kev. You can't run on an empty tank. I am itching to start work on my veg plot. But it's too wet and you just have to keep off until nature allows.

    Cider is good and Scrumpy can be very rough on the old body and head. I remember buying Scrumpy at Glastonbury Festival in the 80's for a fiver a gallon and that included the chunks of wood! Happy days. Thanks Kev!

  7. Just you be ever so Bloody careful of what you say about Zummerzet Zider, cos I used to help make it when I lived in Glastonbury matey

  8. Hi Heron, There's some great West Country cider and some gut rot stuff also. I love the West Country, especially Glastonbury. Such a spiritual and mystical place. Do you remember 'The Wurzels': "I am a cider drinker"? I do believe they are still going strong. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Yes I well remember the late Adge Cutler and The Wurzels, in fact I met him a few times with friends of friends. See for more info. I think the present band are a re-hatch group ?
      Cider was my favourite tipple Dave, though to be honest 5 pints was about my limit any more than that and my legs would fail me. We used to added a drop to Guinness and call it diesel which was a good drink when the weather was foggy, another was to put blackcurrant juice into rough cider, turned it into Loon Juice.... very popular drink for Art students !!!

  9. Thanks for that Heron. I think the Wurzels played the Dorset Steam Festival last year.

    There is some very good Hereford, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall cider. The Irish cider is also very good: Stag and Bulmers especially.

    "Poorman's Black Velvet (cider instead of champagne) made with Guinness is another good drink.

    I always found the cider that tastes like water is often the strongest. I could never drink a lot of cider. I always got terrible headaches the morning after.

    'Diamond White' always seemed to be a good for the loon juice.


    Oh thats a belly laugh alright.... it's about time somebody reported them for false advertising, the stuff is made from imported apple juice from Poland. It is chemical shite so it is.

  11. I didn't know it was imported Heron. Saying that. Stag cider is excellent. There seems to be a craft beer industry developing here. I have also sampled the Franciscan brewery beer in Cork city. There's also a good Dingle brewery that make its own beer. I have never understood why traditional ale like Bitter never took off over here. I believe that Ireland doesn't have an history of growing hops. Even Guinness imported their roast barley from England. I wonder if the climate isn't suitable for growing them? Any ideas? Thanks!


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