I think the “blond” in the title must refer to the icing as the ginger cake is the usual colour. It was the icing that sold this one to me as I’ve never made buttercream with golden syrup in it before...and yes, it was as delicious as you’d expect! Picasso had his Blue and Rose Periods; I’m going through a buttercream period – it may last some time!
The other unusual ingredient is lager. I have used lager in gingerbread before (in my pre-blog days) and found it lightened the batter; it’s not really dissimilar in concept to using lager or beer in batter for fish and chips or tempura batter. The recipe only requires a tiny amount of lager and if, like me, you hate waste ensure you have a lager drinker on standby to consume the rest!
Here you can see the light, open texture of the cake:
I probably use ginger more than any other spice but I know I’m not alone in this – whenever I post a ginger cake it always becomes one of the most popular recipes. At this time of year when it’s cold, grey and wet the warmth that ginger gives is most welcome!
If you make this cake in advance of eating, the flavour matures and the top goes deliciously sticky. I recommend making the cake one or two days before you intend to serve, then make the buttercream on the day.
For the cake:
110g light muscovado sugar
110g unsalted butter
30g golden syrup
55g runny honey
225g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons lager (I used stella artois)
For the buttercream:
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
90g icing sugar
1 teaspoon golden syrup
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.
- Place the sugar, butter, golden syrup and honey in a saucepan over a gentle heat until all the ingredients have melted leaving a smooth thick paste. Stir occasionally to ensure that there are no lumps.
- Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a large mixing bowl and combine.
- Pour the melted ingredients into the flour and stir well. At this point, the mix will be very thick and won’t actually look much in volume.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Add the lager. You will now have a runny batter with lots of air in it.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Mine took 50 minutes.
- Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, the cake can be kept for several days in an airtight container.
- When required, make the buttercream: whisk the butter until it’s very light and fluffy.
- Whisk in the icing sugar until the mixture looks almost like a mousse.
- Whisk in the golden syrup.
- Spread the buttercream over the top of the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.