It is official, Christmas is upon us. Therefore the time has come for festive baking. Tomorrow I head off to explore the Danish city of Copenhagen where I hope to be inspired by all of the festive treats on offer at the city’s Christmas markets. For now though I decided to go with a simple and classic gingerbread cake from my childhood.
When I was younger my Mum used to make this cake in loaf form and we would keep it simple by slathering the slices in butter. However cream cheese icing is delicious and I thought the cranberries added another festive touch.This is a recipe by Mary Berry that I have adapted by omitting the ground ginger (I thought I had some in my cupboard but it turns out I didn’t!) and using extra stem ginger instead.
Prep Time: 50 mins
For the Cakes:
250g Softened Butter
250g Dark Muscovado Sugar
112g of Black Treacle
375g Plain Flour
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Eggs, beaten
5 Pieces Stem Ginger
300ml of Milk
For the Decoration:
100g Softened Butter
160g Cream Cheese
560g Icing Sugar
A handful of Cranberries
1.Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and then grease two 6 inch cake tins with cake release or line with baking paper.
2. Gently heat the butter, sugar and treacle together in a pan, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool a little.
- In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour and cinnamon. Pour in the treacle mix and stir thoroughly to combine. Grate the stem ginger finely and stir with the eggs into the mix.
4. Warm the milk gently in a saucepan, stirring gently to avoid it burning at the base of the pan. Add the bicarb of soda and let it foam a little. Stir into the gingerbread mixture until well blended.
5. Pour the mix into your cake tins and bake for 25-30mins until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Take the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool.
7. To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese and butter and then add the icing sugar a bit at a time until pale and fluffy.
8. Cut the cake in to three layers.
9. Pipe dots on top of the first and second layers. For the third layer, pipe large dots around the perimeter of the cake and then swipe the dots towards the centre of the cake with a small cranked spatula. Do one more inner circle of swiped dots.
10. It’s now time to add the finishing touched by topping with cranberries. To do this, dip your cranberries in some of the ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar.
11. Coat the syrupy cranberries in caster sugar to give a frosted effect.