Tribute beer. What can I say? To me, it is the perfect beer for a lazy, sunny day: its beautiful amber colour, its amazing orange and fruity scent, its gentle bitterness… grab a pint or pop a bottle and you’ll understand what summer days taste like.
I tried this beer by chance during my first months here in the UK (now almost 6 years ago): one day I went in a random pub, my classic choices were not available, someone suggested I try a pint of Tribute. Needless to say, I fell in love with it as soon as my lips kissed it and now it is one of those beers I can’t live without.
When I opened this blog, one of the first things I told my husband was: “I think I want to make a cake with Tribute”. I’ve started to be obsessed by the thought. I had clear in my mind how I wanted it to be: light, fluffy, with a nice amber colour, clearly tasting of Tribute beer and with a touch of orange to exalt its scent. Funny thing is, the more I wanted to make it, the more everything seemed to go against me: first, my local supermarket run out of Tribute; then, I got a viral infection resulting in the most horrible soar throat ever and, once I got rid of it, my son and I caught a cold that basically knocked the both of us down. I am finally on the mend (fingers crossed) so I decided to celebrate the end of this sickness spell with this so-desired cake! Believe me, the perfume that will come out of your oven is unbelievably inebriating. It will put a smile on your face straight away.
For the cake (serves around 8)
- 240g flour
- 120g caster sugar
- 200ml Tribute beer
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp baking powder
For the frosting
- 2 tbsp Tribute beer
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 500g icing sugar
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
Pre-heat the oven at Gas Mark 6; get your cake tin ready with either butter & flour or greaseproof paper (whichever you prefer). I’d say a 20cm in diameter tin should do.
In a bowl, gently mix sugar, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Add beer and start whisking the mixture. Once combined, add butter and one egg at a time. The mixture shouldn’t look like it’s curdling: if that happens, add a heaped table spoon of flour and keep whisking. You can immediately feel the perfume of the beer coming from your yellowish cake mixture; add the orange zest and pour your mixture into the cake tin.
Cook the cake for around 45 minutes or until well risen, springy to the touch and amber-ish in colour; my most trusted way to tell if a cake is cooked is by inserting a skewer in the middle: if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before unmoulding it, then transfer it on a wire rack to completely cool to room temperature. In the meantime, prepare your frosting: place your icing sugar, beer and orange juice on a bowl and stir with a spoon, ensuring the icing sugar does not form lumps. Add the butter and whisk. Give it a taste before you cover your cake: you might want it a bit more orange-y rather than beer-ish or viceversa. Do not frost your cake if it is still warm. It has to be completely cool or the butter in the frosting will melt!
Enjoy a slice of this cake with a good pint of Tribute. I don’t have any variations for this recipes but I’d like you to be aware of couple of things. The orange zest is quite strong in flavour, especially if the orange is ripe: add it bit by bit till the cake mixture taste ok, as you don’t want the orange zest to be overpowering (after all, this is a Tribute cake!). Also, I tried to go easy with the sugar, but if you feel it is a bit too bitter for your taste, feel free to add a tablespoon of sugar to this recipe.