Words by Lucy Studley
(Driftwood Spars Brewery, Food of the Gods Raw Chocolate)
For the cake:
150ml Driftwood Spars Pudding Ale
75g Food of the Gods Chocolate (either Spiced Orange or Cornish Honey)
100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
275g soft light-brown sugar
2 Treway Farm duck eggs (or substitute hen’s eggs)
1 tsp 5 spice
175g self-rising flour
12 muffin cases
For the Chantilly cream:
300ml double cream
15g icing sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
For the syrup:
300g caster sugar
100ml orange juice
2 star anise
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
For the cakes, bring a little water to the boil in a pan. Reduce the heat until the water is simmering, then suspend a heatproof bowl over the water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
Add the Pudding Ale and dark chocolate pieces to the heatproof bowl and heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and well combined, using either a food processor or electric whisk.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
Pour in the cooled chocolate-and-ale mixture and beat until well combined. Gently fold in the flour.
Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared muffin cases and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the muffin tin and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chantilly cream, whip the cream, icing sugar and cinnamon together until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
For the syrup, tip the sugar into a pan, add the orange juice, star anise and 150ml water and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
To serve, glaze the cakes with the orange syrup and give each a quenelle of cream. For a little extra Christmas flourish use edible gold spray paint and orange crisps.