Caketober: Cheese Beer Cake with Bacon Cheddar Frosting

As my final beer cake, we have something a little special.

Savoury cakes are nothing unusual – they’re very common in France and we’ve all tried a little cornbread before now, which has an eminently cakey texture.

However, this cake is a mix of sweet and savoury and comes to you thanks to the Cupcake Project (it should be noted that I did email to ask permission for this recipe, but haven’t had a response, so I’m hoping she won’t mind this duplication!).

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Originally written as a cupcake recipe, I’ve made it as a whole cake, with one or two tweaks from the original recipe, not least the beer. I’m using beer made by a lady brewer (yay!) from the Offbeat Brewery. I selected Kooky Gold, as it’s a good straightforward beer, perfectly balanced and ideal for this recipe. It’s going to add flavour, but not dominate.

Cheese was a bit of a challenge. I wanted a local cheese, but Manchester isn’t exactly known for it’s Cheddar. Burt’s Blue, normally my go to cheese (known in our household as ‘the precious’) wasn’t going to be sharp enough, and through experimentation, Hows Yer Father from Sean Wilson’s Saddleworth Cheese Company went very odd during the warming process. The best I can suggest is a good mature cheddar.

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Bacon wise, we’re just spoilt for choice in Manchester. Bobby’s Bangers does some fabulous bacon, as does Frost’s in Chorlton – and that’s just for starters. I visited our local butcher, Wrigley’s in Stretford Mall. Rather than recommend a particular bacon, head to your local butcher for  something good, streaky and smoked.

So, enough waffle. Time for the recipe:

Cheese Beer Cake with Bacon Cheddar Frosting

Ingredients

For the cake:

230ml beer
110g unsalted butter
115g grated cheddar
320g dark brown sugar
165ml sour cream
2 eggs
1 tb vanilla extract
320g self raising flour
 

For the Frosting:

200g full fat cream cheese, softened
60g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
85g grated cheddar
250g bacon bits (dry fry streaky bacon until crisp, and finely chop or blitz in the processor)

Method

Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180 degrees.

Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper, I used my 20cm round tin.

Warm the beer and butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat until butter is melted. Don’t worry, it tends to look a bit odd.

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Add the grated cheese and stir until that is combined.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the sugar.

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In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla.

Combine the two wet mixtures and sift the flour into the bowl of liquid ingredients and fold in.

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Pour into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin until you can comfortably remove it and finish cooling on a rack.

For the frosting,  beat the room temperature cream cheese and butter until well combined.
Add grated cheese and then slowly mix in the icing sugar. I’d recommend tasting this as you go along – I had to reduce the sugar in the frosting, because the original recipe called for 560g! Far too much.
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Stir in bacon bits.

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Once completely combined, frost the cake and, if you have them, decorate with extra bacon sprinkles.

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You can find the original recipe for the cupcakes here. And please, please, if you give this a go, let me know how you get on – I’ve edited it quite a bit from the original.

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