So it would seem summer is sort of here, or at least it seems to be here whenever we are all stuck at work, and reverts to torrential downpours of rain just in time for the weekend. The knock on effect of this is two fold, firstly it means that all my exciting man-crafts are temporarily on hold (I have a couple of woodwork projects in the pipeline that are just going to have to wait another week until I can crack out the power tools without getting drenched) but secondly it means lots more time to bake.
A little known fact about Phil is that he loooves ginger (I think I can get away with talking about myself in the 3rd person, it works for Lavon Hayes – lil Hart of Dixie reference for you all – I think I may be the only male fan of the show). In all its forms I figure ginger can only improve things, root ginger, powdered ginger, crystallized ginger mmm, ginger ale, ginger beer, I could go on but this is probably more fun for me than you :P. So it was only a matter of time before I set to and baked something good and gingery.
For today’s recipe, I have to give near full credit to the wonderful Rose Levy Beranbaum who writes just about the best baking books I’ve ever found. They are full of pictures but also crazy amounts of detail about exactly what everything should look like at each step along the way. This recipe comes from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with a couple of minor tweaks I’ve made after trying this recipe a couple of times.
I have to admit that by the time I got around to taking a picture of a finished slice of the cake (the one at the top of this post) it was all but eaten and this is sadly the last slice left, so trust me this recipe a good-en!
For the batter:
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
1/4 dark brown sugar firmly packed
1 heaped tablespoon of marmalade
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 generous teaspoon ginger
Pinch of salt
For the syrup glaze:
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon marmalade
2 tablespoons butter
To serve (optional):
1/4 cup diced Chinese stem ginger in syrup
1) Wet mix – In a small heavy bottomed saucepan melt together the butter, golden syrup, brown sugar and marmalade slowly over a medium-low heat. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the mix is an even dark brown colour, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for ten minutes. Next add the eggs and milk to the wet sugar mix and whisk to combine.
2) Dry mix – In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt, so that the raising agents and spices are mixed evenly.
3) Mix the batter – Slowly pour the wet mix into your dry mix and slowly mix just until the mix forms a smooth batter. The batter more closely resembles a pancake batter than a cake batter in thickness, so don’t worry about the mix being too thin, it’s going to bake for a long time.
4) Bake – Pour the batter into a 9 inch round baking tin, greased and lined with baking parchment (just to make sure it comes out in one piece) for 50-60 minutes at 160ºC (325 F). When the cake is ready it should be an even deep golden colour on top and a skewer placed into the middle of the cake will come out clean.
If you have an oven which is a little scorch-y you can always cover the cake with an extra circle of baking parchment after 45 minutes to stop it getting too dark on top!
5) Make and apply your syrup – Whilst your cake is baking, heat together the remaining sugar, marmalade and butter in a small saucepan very slowly until they form a smooth syrup.
Whilst your cake is still hot from the oven, brush about half the syrup onto the top of the cake. Next carefully remove the cake from its tin, flip it upside down and coat the remainder of the syrup on the bottom and sides. Finally flip the cake back the right way up and place it on a serving dish to cool.
6) Enjoy – The cake is actually super delicious warm, maybe with a tiny bit of vanilla ice cream, perfect just as it is with a cup of coffee, or my favourite, just because I can’t get enough of ginger, topped with diced up stem ginger in syrup!
Finally I’m trying out something new today, a very smart person I know suggested we made our recipes available as a text only download, so it was easier to print and go bake, without killing off an ink cartridge and half a rain forest on the images, or risking leaving a laptop balancing by the kitchen sink.
So if you want to grab the recipe to go, you can download it from here: English Gingerbread Cake Recipe – cookquiltmakeandbake