This week's Heavenly Cake Baker's assignment is Rose's take on gingerbread cake. I love a good gingerbread, so I was excited to try her take.
December 5, 2009
Name of cake: Rose's Gingerbread
Occasion: Heavenly Bakers
Constituents: Gingerbread, with a lemony syrup
This cake is definitely one of the quick and easy cakes. Everything can be mixed together by hand in a lovely earthenware bowl, instead of beaten wildly by a stand mixer. As much as I LOVE my stand mixer, it is fun to go old school and mix up a batter by hand. When I do, I like to pretend I have six children and a husband who still plows the fields with our trusty horse, Trusty, and that our older children help their pa out in the fields while the younger ones play with paper dolls and wooden soldiers by the roaring fireplace. Yes, I was a big Laura Ingalls Wilder fan when I was a child.
First off, butter is melted in a saucepan with golden syrup, more of my favorite dark muscovado sugar, and a little bit of orange marmalade. I was happy to have an excuse to buy orange marmalade as it is one of my favorite spreads for toast.
This is the best part. After completing the melted butter concotion and whisking together the dry ingredients, all that is left to do is to add the liquids to the powders and mix by hand. Then the very liquidy batter is poured into a square cake pan and baked. Easy peasy!
Mine had a funny looking top after it was baked, plus a few little floury spots. I guess I didn't incorporate the liquid and flours too well.
This syrup is then spread over the top and bottom of the cake, and it keeps the cake moist and gives it a nice lemony edge. After syruping it takes another 24 hours before the cake should be eaten, presumably to let the moisture evenly distribute and the flavors to sort themselves out. I found that after another 24 hours (48 hours total) the cake had thoroughly sorted itself out and was much fuller in flavor than the day before.
Rose describes the cake's flavor as "an intriguing blend of buttery, lemony, wheaty, and treacly flavors" which I quite agree. There is a little bit of spiciness from the cinnamon and ginger, but it plays a faint background note. This cake, covered and at a very cold room temperature (my kitchen is very very cold), stayed moist and yummy for about a week.
I will admit that I wouldn't call this cake a gingerbread cake. I associate gingerbread cake with the flavors of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. I like my gingerbread spicy, dark, and a tad dense. This cake was none of these things, but it was delicious with a wonderful blend of unusual flavors. I would certainly make it again, but I might not call it gingerbread. Maybe I'll call it a Lemon-Treacle Cake. I like the way that sounds!