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Coffee Stout Cake
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Cheers! Bottoms' Up! Slainte! 

What does June hold in store for us gluttons? Well the 1st is the start of Cheese Week, which will please all you fromage-ophiles and I know many, including me! Then picnic week (13th) runs into National Beer Day (15th), which is what I'm going to rattle on about. We have been drinking beer for millennia and Britain is one of the top brewing nations of the world; we have invented more styles of beer than any other brewing nation. That's quite an accolade! And Scotland is a huge part of that clan with over a hundred breweries across our glorious country and it's growing by the week. As my friend, Amy Brewer of Stewart Brewing says, "There's a beer out there for everyone!" and of course, she's right, there is. Whether you drink it or cook with it, there's a beer for you. From batter on your fish, in a beef stew, in bread or, for me, in cakes! I discovered a fab coffee stout from Keith Brewery up north. It has the right balance of sweetness, bitter and coffee that is perfect for my recipe. So what will you be doing on the 15th? Me? I'll be scoffing a slice of two of cake washed down with a bottle of coffee, or chocolate, or mocha stout!

Coffee Stout Cake
8oz butter, softened
8oz muscavoado sugar
2 large eggs
8oz plain flour
2tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 heaped tblspn ground espresso
6floz coffee stout
3oz dark chocolate
2tbls chocolate stout
2tbls mascarpone

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffyish.
Add eggs one at a time beating between each one.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl.
Mix coffee and stout together in a jug.
Beat flour and stout into butter/sugar alternatively.
Pour into a lined 9-inch cake or 2lb loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake on the middle shelf in a preheated oven (180C/Fan 160C/Gas4) for about an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin until completely cold.
Put chocolate and stout into a bowl over a pan of hot water until melted.
Take off heat and stir in mascarpone until smooth.
Pour over cake and leave to set.

What else is in my basket?
Broad and French beans, peas, tomatoes, courgettes, watercress, lamb, hare, grey mullet, salmon, mackerel, crab, wild trout, sardines, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, elderflowers, tayberries, gooseberries, nectarines, aubergines, lettuce, spinach, peas.

Lea writes http://OfftheEatenTrack.wordpress.com, @BakersBunny on Twitter and Instagram Radio presenter on CastleFM Scotland 

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