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Kentish Hop-Picker's Cake

Soda-raised white wheatflour fruit-and-spice cake with ginger, black treacle and beer.

See also: Oast Cakes

Hop pickers in Kent, 1929

Kentish Hop Picker's Cake
Image: Alex Bray...

The harvesting of Kentish hops to flavour beer required mass labour, largely provided by whole families arriving from East London to stay in 'hopper's huts' during September.

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10oz flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
6 oz margarine
4 oz soft brown sugar
4 oz sultanas
4 oz currants
2 oz mixed peel
9 oz milk
5 oz beer
1 tbsp black treacle

Sift the dry ingredients together and rub in the margarine. Warm the treacle and add it along with the beer and milk to form a soft dropping consistency. Pout into a lined 2lb tin and bake 1 to 1 ½ hours at 160C.

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