Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t been going out much. It’s really a bummer because I love to support local businesses: restaurants, bakeries, book shops, art venues, and more. Yes, we get takeout and do our best to support our local favorites. But, honestly, I’ve been cooking and baking more than ever. When I saw Taft Brewing Company post a recipe on Instagram for a cake using their own craft beer, I decided to take it as a challenge. It’s perfect. I can bake and support a local business.
So the recipe is a Blood Orange Witbier Cake. Yep, I googled “Witbier”. Witbier is a Belgian-style very pale ale, cloudy in appearance, and high in wheat. It’s often spiced with coriander and orange peel. All new to me. We picked up Taft’s Nellie’s Winter Ale at Country Fresh Market on Beechmont Avenue; I knew they’d have it because their Wine and Craft Beer section is stellar. Thankfully, I also found blood oranges there; I could not find them in my regular grocery store.
Here is the recipe posted by Taft:
Typically when I bake, I get all my ingredients out ahead of time and study the recipe. I like to be organized and careful. That doesn’t mean I’m not messy! Those who bake with me find themselves dusted in flour and walking in a trail of sugar.
I did tweak the recipe a tiny bit before I even started because whenever I make sweets with citrus, I always want more zing. I added two teaspoons of orange zest in the cake and I added a full teaspoon of orange zest in the icing. I also bumped up the blood orange juice to a tablespoon and a half. To me, this was perfect. The cake was moist and bright and definitely orange. Yummy.
As I said in the beginning, I’ve never had Witbier cake so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s reminiscent of a pound cake in structure and density. I love that the flavor is bright; the orange peel, orange juice, and coriander are perfect for this season. Plus, you can eat this for dessert or breakfast. I definitely enjoyed it with my morning coffee. Best way to start the day!
Like my mug? Check out my former student’s Etsy shop (Hey, Linnea). Her pottery is wonderful and I’m proud of her success. All about supporting local business here!
My bake might not look beauteous, but it’s delicious and I will definitely be making it again. I shared a few pieces with friends and the reviews were all positive!
GO THERE (Taft Ale House or Taft Brewporium; Country Fresh Market)! TRY THAT (Baking with craft beer)!