Saturday, 9 April 2011
I realize, that to say that something is the World's Best anything is a pretty bold statement to make . . . and I don't make it lightly.
I have been creating and baking Gingerbread Cakes since I was knee high to a grasshopper! Ok . . . so maybe that is somewhat of an exaggeration . . . but I've certainly been testing and baking them since I took high school home economics!! (It wasn't until then, that my mother really let me loose in the kitchen unsupervised!!!)
I've experimented with, devised, and tried many, many recipes through the years. Some might have had the lovely spicy flavour I was looking for, and just the right amount of heat . . . but been sadly dry and lacking in every other respect.
Other's might have been moist, but lacking in spice and character!!!
Nobody likes a dry gingerbread . . . and nobody likes one that's not all gingery and spicy . . . well, this gal doesn't at any rate!
This is my tried and true recipe. The one I came up with, and have been using for years and years. It is no fail, as long as you follow the instructions exactly. It always bakes up deliciously moist. It has just the right amount of spice and heat . . . and it tastes better and better with each day that passes.
It's beautifully delicious served warm, with the accompanying Spiced Lemon Sauce . . . or perhaps a dollop of whipped cream, or creme fraiche, or even lashings of custard, which is how the Toddster likes it . . . but then he is a Brit and if there's no custard involved, it's just not a pudding as far as he's concerned!
It's scrummy yummy, sliced and served cold . . . spread with softened butter.
It's likewise moreishly delightful, sliced thin and lightly toasted and once again spread with butter and . . . ahem . . . a bit of marmalade . . . just a scratching you understand . . . not gobs.
In short . . . this IS the World's Best Gingerbread Cake. Trust me on this. If you like Gingerbread, like I like Gingerbread, I think you'll find that . . . this is the cadillac of Gingerbreads.
*World's Best Gingerbread Cake*
Makes one 9 inch square cake
What makes this the world's best?? It's moist and spicy and moreishly delicious, that's what!
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
8 1/2 ounces of plain flour (2 cups)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 fluid ounces of boiling water (1 1/4 cups)
2 fluid ounces of dark treacle
4 fluid ounces of Golden syrup
(You may use 6 ounces of mild molasses instead, or 3/4 cup)
3/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
6 TBS butter, softened
5.6 ounces soft dark brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
1 large free range egg at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter and flour a 9 inch square baking tin. Set aside.
Add the treacle and syrup to the boiling water along with the bicarbonate of soda. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy with an electric whisk. Beat the egg with a fork, and then beat it into the creamed mixture a little bit at a time. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Set aside. On low speed add the cooled syrup mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients only to blend. Pour into the prepared baking tin.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until well risen and the top springs back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Serve warm, cut into rectangles, with a spiced lemon sauce, or whipped cream, or a dollop of creme fraiche or clotted cream.
*Spiced Lemon Sauce*
Makes 1 1/2 cups
A wonderful dessert sauce that goes very well with gingerbread!
3.5 ounces caster sugar (1/2 cup)
1 TBS cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
250ml of boiling water (1 cup)
1 TBS butter
1 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
the juice of one lemon
Whisk the sugar, nutmeg, salt and cornflour together in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the boiling water. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly. Whisk in the butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove from the burner and keep warm. Serve spooned over squares of the gingerbread.