MDaughter Ivy was born on December 23. We arrived home with her on Christmas morning, shocked, loved and utterly worn out – just as many parents of newborn babies are. Christmas that year, unsurprisingly, was a little different from the others. To be honest, I can’t even remember how we spent the day. On Boxing Day, or not long after (the weather turns odd when you relentlessly lack sleep), a baker friend fell with a cake (warning: bumping into someone after birth can cause joy. , but also a visceral horror of having to greet someone from the outside world, so get permission first). “There’s big in it,” she said, and with that she walked away. Rumor has it, although I think it’s considered a bit of an old wives’ tale these days, that drinking stout is good for new mothers, improves iron, and boosts milk production. I don’t know if stout helps, but I do know that a good cake is balm and makes the world go round, especially for teary eyed new parents. This one is also incredibly easy to cook.
For 8 people
beer 250 ml
Unsalted butter 230g
Cocoa powder without sugar 70g
oatmeal 50g, plus 2 tablespoons more for dusting
plain plain flour 200g
Granulated sugar 250g, plus 1 tbsp more for dusting
baking soda 1½ teaspoon
salt a big pinch
eggs 2, beaten
Fresh cream 150g, and more for serving
Preheat the oven to 160 ° C hot air / thermostat 4. Line a 24 cm cake mold with baking paper. Bring the stout and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa and oatmeal and whisk well until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool a little.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and a big pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and sour cream into the stout and cocoa mixture, mixing well to combine. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until the dough is completely combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar and additional oatmeal. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Take out of the oven and let cool a little in the mold, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Serve with additional sour cream.
From Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £ 30)