RECIPE: Rich Boiled Fruit Cake with Badger Beer

Tried and tested seasonal recipes from our country cookery school kitchen.  As well as hacks and get ahead tips for EVERY cook. 

We had a great time at the Hall and Woodhouse Christmas Market last night and promised to share the recipe for our boiled fruit cake which was won by David Hoare in our ‘Guess the Weight’ competition.

Serves 8 – 10 portions

Teatime Treat

Prepare 35 mins

+ overnight steeping fruit

+ soaking cherries overnight

Cook 50 mins

Total 1 hr 25 mins


  • 200 g 70 % chocolate – chopped into small pieces
  • 100 g unsalted butter – cut into cubes
  • 4 medium free range eggs
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 50 ml Poacher ale*​
  • 50 g dried sour cherries

  • 100 g plain flour

  • 50 g ground almonds

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

To serve:

Our favourite topping is homemade mascarpone ice-cream, locally churned dairy or coconut milk iced desserts.


If time allows, put the dried cherries into a small bowl and pour the ale over the top. Cover and leave in a cool place until needed.

Preheat conventional oven to 170 C or gas Mark 3

Line a square baking tin 20 cm x 20 cm with baking parchment along the base and sides.

In a second heatproof bowl, add the chocolate and either melt carefully in the microwave, place over a pan of simmering water or on the warming plate of your AGA.  Add the butter and beat well to combine.  Set aside to cool.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and ground almonds together.

Add the sugar to the chocolate.  Beat well to create a light mixture.

Stir in the soaked cherries and beer.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat together with a fork.

Add to the chocolate mixture along with the flour and fold together.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow the tin to cool enough to handle and then remove the brownie to a cake rack.

Cut into squares.

Serve warm with ice-cream or a spoonful of crème fraiche.



Notes for Cooks 

Use the remaining ale to make a fruit cake – link recipe or pour a hearty glassful for yourself!

The Poacher ale gives the brownie a delicious rich taste but if you prefer, soak the cherries in the equivalent volume of strong coffee.

More about All Hallows' Farmhouse

Home to Lisa Osman’s award-winning AGA approved cookery school in Dorset.  A unique place to learn, cook and stay.  Shop our range of sustainable kitchen linens and iconic mixing bowls.