So, this might not be music to everyone’s ears, but Christmas is well on it’s way. And the cold is setting in! I have already had my first glass of mulled wine, and look forward to visiting all the Christmas markets over the next month.
One thing I really like over the festive period is the smells. From the fresh smell of the Christmas Tree to Mulled wine on the stove, to the turkey on Christmas day. Mmmm!
I am not a fan of Christmas cake, or Christmas pudding, as I am not a lover of dried fruit, so when it comes to making a cake for Christmas, I want the spice and warmth of a Christmas Cake, without the dried fruit. And gingerbread will always hits that spot for me. I like to bake the cake the day before and decorate it the following day, as it gives the sponge time to let those flavours really develop.
The clementine frosting can be replaced with the zest and juice of 1 large orange, or if you prefer use the zest and juice of 1 lemon; or if you prefer, you can use a cream cheese frosting.
(for the cake)
375g unsalted butter, softened
200g black treacle
75g golden syrup
330g soft dark brown sugar
6 eggs (large)
375g self raising flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons ground ginger
4 tablespoons soured cream
6-8 pieces of jarred stem ginger, diced as small as you can
2-3 tablespoons of the syrup from the jar of stem ginger
(for the icing)
275g unsalted butter, softened
600g icing sugar
zest and juice of 2 clementines
To start, preheat the oven to 190C, 170C fan, GAs Mark 5 and grease and line 3 sandwich tins (approx 20cms).
Put the butter, treacle, syrup and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat, preferably with an electric mixer for a good five minutes until light a fluffy. A good tip for the syrups is to lightly grease the bowl you put them in when you weigh them, as they will slide into your mixing bowl after measuring.
Now you need to add your eggs, one at a time until combined, followed by the flour, ground ginger and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Stir in the soured cream and chopped stem ginger, putting aside the syrup, as this is for once the cakes are baked.
Divide the cake mix equally into the 3 cake tins, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester or skewer comes out clean. Leave for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire cooling rack. Leave until completely cool.
To make the buttercream, beat your butter for 5 minutes until it goes pale, then add the clementine zest before gradually adding the icing sugar. When it starts to get a little thick, add the juice from the clementines, and mix until combined.
To assemble the cake, pop a splodge of buttercream on a cake board, followed by the first sponge. Brush over the sponge some of the syrup from the stem ginger, followed by buttercream, and repeat until your cake is complete. You can always trim the sponges to get them level, but I quite like a big wonky cake. Now decorate with sprinkles and you cake is ready to serve!