Gin­ger­bread Cake with Maple But­ter­cream

The People's Friend Special - - KNITTING -

Serves 12-16 Skill level: medium Prep time: 45 mins, plus chill­ing

225 g (8 oz) un­salted but­ter

60 g (2¼ oz) trea­cle

150 g (5½ oz) golden syrup

1 tsp vanilla ex­tract

200 g (7 oz) light mus­co­v­ado sugar

300 ml (½ pt) full fat milk 2 eggs

350 g (12 oz) plain flour 2 tsp bi­car­bon­ate of soda ½ tsp bak­ing pow­der ½ tsp salt

4½ tsp ground gin­ger

3 tsp ground cin­na­mon ½ tsp all­spice

50 g (1¾ oz) stem gin­ger, chopped finely

50 ml (2 fl oz) stem gin­ger syrup

For the Maple But­ter­cream: 250 g (9 oz) un­salted but­ter, soft­ened

Cook time:

45 mins

180 g (6½ oz) ic­ing sugar 50 ml (2 fl oz) maple syrup 1 Pre-heat oven to 180 deg. C., 350 deg. F., Gas Mark 4.

2 Heat the but­ter, trea­cle, golden syrup and vanilla in a saucepan un­til melted. Whisk in the brown sugar and set aside to cool.

3 In a sep­a­rate jug, whisk to­gether the milk and eggs. Pour this into the but­ter and sugar mix­ture and whisk un­til fully com­bined.

4 In a sep­a­rate bowl, sift to­gether the flour, bi­car­bon­ate of soda, bak­ing pow­der, salt and spices. Make a well in the cen­tre and pour the wet in­gre­di­ents into the dry with the gin­ger. Stir un­til there are no large lumps. Di­vide the bat­ter evenly be­tween two tins and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 to 45 min­utes.

5 Whilst the cakes bake, heat the stem gin­ger syrup with 3 ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter. Let it come to the boil be­fore re­mov­ing from the heat.

6 Once the cakes are fully cooked, poke the sur­face with a skewer and pour over the hot syrup, al­low­ing it to soak through. Let the cakes cool be­fore re­mov­ing them from their tins and plac­ing on a wire rack.

7 When the lay­ers are com­pletely cool, wrap them in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 min­utes to an hour to firm up. Once chilled, un­wrap the cakes and use a sharp ser­rated knife to cut each layer into two, so you have four lay­ers in to­tal. Set aside whilst you make the but­ter­cream.

8 To make the maple but­ter­cream, beat the but­ter for 3 to 4 min­utes un­til pale and creamy. Add in the ic­ing sugar and con­tinue to beat for an­other 5 to 6 min­utes. Pour in the maple syrup and beat un­til fully in­cor­po­rated.

9 As­sem­ble the cake by sand­wich­ing each layer with some but­ter­cream. When you get to the last layer, place it cut side up, giv­ing you a com­pletely flat top. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of but­ter­cream. Swirl some ex­tra but­ter­cream on the top of the cake, then dec­o­rate with some des­ic­cated co­conut, gold leaf and sug­ared cran­ber­ries.

Our fes­tive Christ­mas cakes make a de­li­cious change from tra­di­tional recipes.

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