Spiced Spritz Cookies

spicedspritz-1It is that time of year to dust down the Cookie Press and get baking these cutesy cookies. Spiced with ginger, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, these crunchy, shaped morsels shout C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. [Read more…]

Gingerbread Pound Cake

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Technically, my Gingerbread flavoured Pound Cake is not actually correct.

A ‘pound’ cake is typically a very large cake made of a pound (a whooping 450g, no less), in equal ratios of flour: butter: sugar and eggs.  Nowadays, the quantities of the ‘pound’ cake are less rigid and as a it is typically baked in a Bundt, or loaf tin and conservatively finished, I figured I could get away with calling this a ‘Pound’ Cake.

With friends visiting this weekend I had wanted to bake a large cake but needed something that was quick and substantial. This pound cake was a perfect solution.

So, I have side lined my fresh berry obsession – albeit temporarily – to make way for my new favourite ingredient, ginger. I have been busy in my kitchen all week making Christmas hamper gifts. I made some rather delicious bottled Spiced Pears (more about these another day) but as a result I had some surplus fresh ginger.

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I wanted to adapt a recipe to include the fresh ginger and as I am planning my Christmas bakes, I have all the ingredients for gingerbread cookies, so why not include these flavours and recreate in a loaf style cake? Let me be clear, this is not the rich, sticky, molasses infused, bubbly gingerbread cake that you will know. Yes, in contains the dark rich sugars, dark treacle and glorious cinnamon, ginger and clove spices but it is a denser cake, perfect with a cup of tea.

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I have topped this with a rich chocolate ganache, inspired from Martha’s ‘Baking Handbook’ and it works wonderfully. That’s not to say that other toppings wouldn’t work. A simple dusting of icing sugar, a lemon glaze/icing or perhaps an orange cream cheese frosting would be wonderfully indulgent.

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 This warming, spiced cake is super easy to make and easy to enjoy when the weather is getting chilly outside.

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Gingerbread Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 300g margarine, or softened unsalted butter
  • 160g Demerara sugar
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 heaped tbsp. dark treacle
  • For the topping
  • 600ml double cream
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • Crystallised stem ginger for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Grease and line a large (9cm x 24cm) loaf tin with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Mix and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, cream together the margarine, or butter, with both the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once well combined, add the freshly grated ginger and the dark treacle. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two parts ensuring that it is thoroughly mixed after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level with a knife.
  5. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing it to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool add the ganache topping.
  6. For the topping
  7. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a low heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, chunk by chunk. Whisk the chocolate until it melts and combines with the cream to form a glossy ganache. Pour into a jug and allow to cool a little. Once cooler and a little firmer, pour over the cake. Sprinkle with the crystallised ginger to decorate (optional).
  8. Store in an airtight container.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/gingerbread-pound-cake/

Source: Adapted and inspired by Martha Stewart’s ‘Baking Handbook’