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From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com. In Shakespeare's time, ale was used in cooking as well as drinking with the meals, much like we like to use wines. And oranges were also becoming quite popular coming in from Spain and Portugal, etc. And, about that time "ice houses" began to appear for lightly frozen, chilled milk and cream, etc.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 inch square cake pan and set aside. In batter bowl, using an electric beater cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, adding the eggs and vanilla and beating well. In measuring cup, combine the 1 1/4 cups ale and blend in the freshly ground pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Blend the peppered ale into the batter and blend in the flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly and the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool. While the cake is baking, make the fig topping. In saucepan combine the orange zest and juice, ale and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and stir until the sugar has totally dissolved. Remove the stems from the figs. Add the figs to the hot sauce and set aside to cool. To serve, slice the cake and place on individual dessert plates. Drizzle with some of the liquid from the figs. Top with 1 - 2 small scoops of creme fraiche or ice cream. Quarter the figs and arrange around the cake, drizzling with more sauce.
Recipe created 2017-04-21.