Guinness cake

This is a nice rich tea-time cake, or you could serve it as a dessert with, say, an ice-cream such as marmalade or ginger. I've served it here with cheese as there is a British tradition, although admittedly not a terribly popular one, to serve fruitcake with cheese. But a cake like this, or even a good old piece of Christmas cake, is really quite delicious with blue cheese – try it.

450g self-raising flour, sifted
A good pinch of salt
225g caster sugar
A good pinch of nutmeg
A good pinch of mixed spice
A good pinch of cinnamon
225g cold butter, cut into small cubes
The finely grated zest of 2 oranges
The finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large free-range egg, beaten
150ml Guinness or dark ale

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3.

Mix the flour, sugar and spices together in a bowl then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the grated orange and lemon zest then gently mix in the egg and Guinness; transfer to a round cake or a loaf tin. Cook for about 1 hours or until the point of a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Leave to cool a little in the tin then turn out on to a cake rack. Serve at room temperature or warm with cheese, thick cream or ice-cream.

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