Evil Twin

The Beer Lover’s Table: Peach Upside Down Cake with Miso Caramel and Evil Twin Sumo in a Sidecar IPA

This month, I found myself thinking about carrot cake. Specifically, about the way that a slice of carrot cake works wonders alongside an IPA—it’s one of those classic pairings that’s beloved of beer sommelier types, probably in part because it sounds like it shouldn’t work.

Early September isn’t really the time for carrot cake, though. And so I turned to peaches, which, while they’re still in season, are the perfect way to see out summer’s final weeks. This peach upside-down cake is lightly perfumed with cardamom, and offers just the right amount of yielding squidge.

But what really makes it stand out? In lieu of the traditional caramel that most upside-down cakes call for, I made a caramel with miso.

Lately, I’ve seen miso crop up in a number of dessert recipes - from butterscotch budino to white chocolate chip cookies. It’s a fantastic and beguiling ingredient, because, alongside a heavy hit of umami, it offers a rich sweetness, too. Think of this as an alternative to salted caramel, but with an incredible depth of flavour, and a complex, savoury character that balances out all the sugar.

Evil Twin Sumo in a Sidecar makes for an almost too-good- to-be- true pairing option. An apricot IPA with, as the brewery says, “a dash of umami”, it’s a beer that, unsurprisingly, does extremely well with a stone fruit dessert that has umami of its own.

Lately, I’ve been intrigued about the way that hoppy beers and umami flavours work together; still, this may be the first example of an umami IPA I can remember trying. Skeptics, note that the umami is subtle, but the beer feels richer for the addition. And with still-warm cake on the side, well - it’s hard not to be convinced.

Peach Upside Down Cake with Miso Caramel
Adapted from The New York Times and Food 52
For the miso caramel:
60ml water
150g granulated sugar
120ml double cream, room temperature
2 tbs white miso
For the upside-down cake:
115g softened unsalted butter, plus additional to grease the pan
3 large, ripe peaches
130g all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Crème fraîche, to garnish

First, prepare the caramel. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the water and sugar and stir briefly to combine. Heat over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has fully dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble, refrain from stirring further, though it’s fine to gently swirl the pan (or, using a wet pastry brush, brush down the sides to incorporate any errant sugar crystals).

Let the mixture boil for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until its colour darkens to a deep amber. Once it begins to darken, keep a close eye on it, as the caramelisation will happen very quickly. When it is dark amber, immediately remove from the heat. Add the cream in a slow but steady stream, whisking rapidly to incorporate it. The mixture will bubble
up when the cream is first added, so be careful to avoid burns.

When the cream is fully incorporated and the caramel is smooth, return the pot to low heat. Add the miso, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. To make the cake, first grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter (I used a spring-form pan). Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, and grease that, too. Halve and pit your peaches (don’t worry about peeling them), and slice into ½-inch segments. Starting from the centre of your cake pan, begin an
overlapping, radial design, laying the peaches in a spiral shape until they cover the entire base of the pan. Pour half of your miso caramel mixture over the peaches, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cardamom. Set aside. In a second medium bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar for 4-5 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add one egg and beat into the mixture until fully incorporated, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl; repeat with the two remaining eggs. Next, add your sifted flour mixture and, with a wooden spoon, stir together until the batter is just incorporated.

Pour the batter over the peach mixture and spread to the edges of the pan, being careful not to disturb the peach layer. Set the cake pan on a tray and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake layer has risen and is nicely golden.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack. If using a spring-form pan, release and remove the sides; if not, use a knife to gently separate the cake from the sides of the pan. Place a large serving plate over the cake pan and, using the cooling rack, carefully flip the cake onto the plate. Remove the pan and the parchment paper, and return any peach slices that may have dislodged.

To serve, pour over the remaining miso caramel and garnish each slice with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and an all-around lover of tasty things. Follow her on Twitter at @clairembullen, and pick up a can of Evil Twin Sumo In A Sidecar in store on online.

HB&B Sub Club - our July and August boxes revealed

Our All Killer No Filler HB&B Sub Club boxes just keep getting better. Check out the most recent boxes below and then get yourself over to the shop to join the club...




HB&B Sub Club - our April box revealed

Here's what was in our first ever HB&B Sub Club box that went out last month. We're just as excited about this month's box - we've found some mind-blowingly awesome beers to fill it with yet again...

We'll be releasing a limited number of new memberships this week. These will go on sale on Friday 5th April at 9am. Head here and get your finger on the button. More info on the boxes can be found at our FAQs page, or simply drop us a line.

New stuff in store: 5 November

On a grey and dreary Guy Fawkes' Day, here are a few things to put a rocket under your bum and a spring in your step - AMAZING NEW BEERS. 

From the best part of London - that is, the South Side - we bring you:

  • Brixton Pacific APA - it's no secret that our favourite Brixton beer has always been their juicy American-style pale ale, Atlantic, so - with a natural bias for all things down under - we were especially excited to see the new special edition Pacific Antipodean Pale Ale, showcasing the region’s boldest hops. A terrific beer!
  • Brew By Numbers Black IPA - BBNO brings back the Black IPA, this time hopped with one of our favourite hops, the mighty Mosaic.
  • Fourpure Northern Latitude - A delicious Scandanavian-inspired rye ale that's made for wintry times (and the perfect contrast to their forthcoming Southern Latitude summer ale, which was a huge smash last Christmas). And it has a reindeer on the can!
  • Late Knights Peckham Rye IPA - finally back on shelf! Our favourite beer from the pub kings (and fellow Dulwich Hamlet sponsors) of South East London.

From further afield in this fine country of ours:

  • Cloudwater DIPA - Manchester's excellent Cloudwater Brewery turns one on Saturday and to celebrate, they're launching a brand new, massively-hopped Double IPA. We'll have it on flagon-fill (at 9%, the biggest beer we've ever poured into 1-litre bottles) and in 330ml bottles from Saturday.
  • Moor Not Another Eurovision Beer - Every week we demand more Moor and this week they've obliged with this succulent new rye amber, brewed with Brewdog for this year's Collab Fest. Plus, one of our absolute favourites strikes back as Return of the Empire, um, returns.

Finally, from even further afield:

  • Jester King - adding to our illustrious stock of 750ml sharing bottles, we add two from this incredible US farmhouse brewery committed to making wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers. Vernal Dichomotomy is a saison fermented with kumquats, rosemary, lavender and spearmint (yes!) and Provenance Lemon & Lime is a wild-fermented citrus ale. 
  • And Imma let you finish, but Evil Twin & Lervig's Big Ass Money, an imperial stout brewed with money and pizza, has the best name and description of all time. Due in on Friday.

New stuff in store, 29 October


We're always excited about new beers but some weeks, we look at the list and have to pinch ourselves because it's so good. This is one of these times. Every time a coconut. Read this and weep (with joy).

  • We're close to collecting the whole set of the 2015 Rainbow Project beers. The latest one from the amazingly inventive series of UK/US collaborations to hit the shelves is Violet Underground from Somerset's Wild Beer and California's Firestone Walker. This tart sour bomb is a blend of Wild Beer's Somerset Wild and Firestone's Cowbell and brings together yeast from Somerset cider orchards, Californian raspberries and French candied violet petals. We have it in 375ml bottles and look out for it when it hits the flagon-fill line-up.
  • Speaking of flagon-fill, we are beyond excited about putting on Magic Rock Cross Pollination Heather Honey IPA. The Twitterati went mental for this beer when it hit the taps at Indyman. Let's see what all the fuss is about. Keep watching the skies/flagon-fill page...
  • Speaking of people going mental at Indyman... Here's another star from that particular beer fest. Mad Hatter Tzatziki Sour. A Berliner Weisse with flavours of yoghurt, mint and cucumber. Has to be enjoyed to be believed!
  • Vocation cans all the way from sunny West Yorkshire. These both look incredible and rate off the charts. We've got the Heart & Soul session IPA and Life & Death IPA. 
  • Speaking of death... Brewdog Born To Die. It's back. Available from 6pm on Friday.
  • Other returns from beyond the grave include the uber-delicious Westbrook Gose and Evil Twin Molotov Lite - our best-selling 8.5% beer ever. We've also got more Evil Twin cans in the form of Bikini Beer, which provides a welcome contrast to the Molotov monster at just 2.7%.

That enough for you?



New stuff in store: 27 August

The final Bank Holiday of the summer is upon us and we've stocked up to ensure you can celebrate it in style. As well as restocking all your favourites, here's what's new in this week:

  • Five Points Pale and IPA - now in CANS! (Due in Friday.)
  • Also new in cans (pint-sized - literally), Evil Twin's Citra Sunshine Slacker, a glorious session IPA fresh off the boat. 
  • From Evil Twin's evil twin, we've got Mikkeller's Hop On Drinkin' Berliner - perfect if the sun makes an appearance this long weekend.
  • If it doesn't, and you fancy something darker, we welcome back Harbour's delectable Chocolate & Vanilla Imperial Stout. We loved this beer so much last time we had it in - be quick to ensure we don't drink it all...
  • On the D/IPA front, Kernel launches its brand new Double IPA, Double Mosaic (9.3% and jammed full of citrus, you know you want it) and Pressure Drop's mighty Bosko IPA is back.

Don't forget to check the flagon-fill page too - some beautiful beers await, including a Magic Rock session and London Beer Lab's exceptional Black IPA. As with all Bank Holiday weekends, we'll be open on Monday to ensure you can get the beers in for one last hurrah before returning to the grindstone. See you soon and have a great one.

New stuff in store: 19 August

Too excited by the prospect of sampling these beauties to type much... Here's what's now in store or will be in by the weekend:

  • Alesmith IPA and Speedway Stout - go check the Ratebeer rating for Speedway Stout. Go on! See? The IPA flew out the door last time we had it too, so don't hang about.
  • Evil Twin/Beavertown XXX Imperial Mild Ale - Evil Twin x Beavertown + Westbrook (where it was brewed) = amazing.
  • London Beer Lab Black IPA - the samples we had of this knocked the socks off the fiercest beer critics who joined us at Sunday's beer and cheese night. Simply incredible. Another corker from the good folk at the Beer Lab.
  • Weird Beard Sorachi Face Plant and Duke of Dank - two newbies from West London's Weird Beard massive. An IPA and Red IPA respectively, with Duke of Dank being brewed with beer writer and HB&B blog contributor Matthew Curtis.
  • Odell IPA and St Lupillin - Odell makes its return to our shelves. Welcome back!
  • Firestone Walker - Easy Jack's back (do it again), along with Pivo Hoppy Pilsner
  • Summer Wine Brewery Mokko Milk Stout - this iconic dark from West Yorkshire's SWB joins the mad fruit explosion that is Mauna Kea. 
  • Tiny Rebel's Cwtch Red Ale, CAMRA's Champion Beer from last week's Great British Beer Festival. 
  • And finally, nine of New Zealand's finest beers from Moa Brewing Co which launch exclusively tomorrow at Hop Burns & Black. All will be revealed tomorrow, but we'd advise you to elbow your way to the front of the queue/sell your grandmother/do whatever you have to do to get your hands on the Sour Blanc...

Happy drinking! 

PS - we've also got our hands on some more Beavertown Yuzilla Phantom since you thirsty beasts drank us dry last week. 

Behold! The joys of our Bin Ends Box

"People are strange," sung a dead poet once. 

Roger that. We've found that it doesn't matter how amazing the beer, if there's a last solitary bottle or can of it sitting on shelf, you lot won't take it. Freud would have a field day. Maybe. 

Anyway, you've probably noticed our Bin Ends Box, the crate of wonders that sits next to our counter. It's filled with a delectable selection of lonely little beers (and sometimes wines, ciders and hot sauces) that are the end of their line, the last of their kind, You, the people, cruelly shun them when they're the last bottle on the shelf but strangely love to snap them up when they're jumbled up in a box next to the counter.

If you haven't discovered the joys of our Bin Ends Box yet, now's the time. As we type, on offer are beautiful beers from Evil Twin Brewing, Siren, Wild Beer, Pressure Drop, Port Brewing and more, replaced daily as more good things come to an end. 

So go on - have a rummage.