We love baked goods in our house. We also love tasty, yummy craft beer. Most of the time, those two don’t go together, right? I mean, who hasn’t been served birthday cake while sipping a nice cold brew? Typically an ick combination.
But there are exceptions to every rule. Over the last few years, Sweets and I have attended a number of beer dinners at a local restaurant. The chef designs the dinner courses around the featured beverages and there is always a dessert course. Surprisingly, we’ve learned beer can go with dessert, if paired correctly, and sometimes, the beer is even used in the dessert itself. Our knowledge has grown with these experiences but we had yet to try this at home.
We often swing into the neighboring Barnes & Noble after the beer dinners where I raid the shelves for novels I haven’t read and Sweets parks himself in front of the extensive magazine rack to flip through the pages of his favorite periodicals. At some point, my arms are full to the point where I can’t carry any more books. Sweets will hand me a magazine or two and we check out.
One of his favorites is Draft, which rather (obviously) focuses on craft beer. As it turned out, the July/August 2015 issue included several dessert recipes that included beer as an ingredient. When we made plans to have friends over for a summertime barbecue, Sweets suggested I make something from the magazine. Never one to turn down the opportunity to expand my baking repertoire, I agreed.
I chose the Raspberry Crumb Cake, probably because it called for raspberry beer and we had never drunk that. The batter has a slight pink cast to it when prepared, which is retained during baking through the beer and the juices from the whole raspberries in the pan. This nice, light cake is topped with a crumb topping of sugar and almonds, which balances the flavors into one yummy bite. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ll know I almost always skip the nuts but this was one instance where the nuts really pull the dessert together, so don’t omit them.
This was so good, I made it two weekends in a row.
Raspberry Crumb Cake
(From Draft Magazine, July/August 2015)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup sliced almonds (if you don’t have sliced almonds, pour ½ cup whole almonds in plastic baggy and beat with mallet or rolling-pin until almonds are broken into small pieces)
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 oz raspberry beer (look for it at your larger, better beverage stores)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
- MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING: Combine the flour, brown sugar, almonds, oats, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle with the butter and mix until evenly moistened.
- MAKE THE CAKE: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and ½ tsp salt in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the beer, egg, butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just moistened.
- Evenly scatter the raspberries in the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter over the raspberries and sprinkle with the crumb topping.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh raspberries for garnish. If you want to continue the beer theme, pair it with an easy-going wheat beer.
Please come back again to see what else comes out of the oven.
Until then, may your days be filled with tasty goodness!