Chocolate and Porter Cake with Porter Syrup

, from Issue #49. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chocolate and Porter Cake with Porter Syrup

This is a nutty, dense sticky cake that combines the richness of the dark fruit with the malty flavours of Porter beer. Topped with a cloud of whipped cream and a drizzle of Porter syrup this is the perfect cake for grown-ups.


100 grams each dried pitted prunes, dates and raisins
250 ml Porter beer
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175 grams caster sugar
200 grams ground almonds
30 grams cocoa, sifted
½ teaspoon ground Chinese 5-spice
1 teaspoon baking powder

Porter syrup
250 ml Porter beer
160 grams brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick

22 cm springform cake tin greased, and base and sides lined with baking paper


Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

Fruit: Roughly chop the prunes and dates and place in a medium saucepan with all the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Cool.

Cake: Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl then whisk in the fruit purée. Combine the ground almonds, cocoa, 5-spice and the baking powder then stir into the egg mixture until well combined.

Pour into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with just a few damp crumbs. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

Syrup: Put the ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer vigorously for about 10 minutes until reduced and syrupy.

To serve: Place the cake on a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Serve with the Porter syrup and softly whipped cream. Serves 10-12

Pantry note: Porter is a rich, dark, malty beer. It originated in the 1700s as a blend of three different beers and reputedly got its name due to its popularity with porters in London. A range of local and imported Porters is available at supermarkets and liquor stores.