Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas spice and treacle traybake

This cake would be lovely any time over the winter period but there is something festive about ginger, spices and black treacle. I guarantee nothing will make your kitchen smell like Christmas – in a good way - quicker than baking this!

Here’s the baked cake before it is transformed into a winter wonderland:

I love the flecks of ginger in the icing:

I see this as a Christmas health food and am sure it has restorative powers to help us all over the festive period of indulgence. Ginger is well known to aid digestion and calm rebelling stomachs, but don’t just take my word for it – Universities are backing me up!

Did anyone say “kitsch”?

Due to the high content of black treacle you might find that the cake sinks as it cools, although mine didn’t. Doesn’t matter a bit, in fact it’s almost desirable as the cake will be stickier and more gorgeous. One thing I would advise if your cake does sink is to flip it upside down before you ice; that way, you ensure a nice smooth flat surface for the icing.

I love this photo; it looks like all the crumbs are climbing up the right hand side of the cake and racing each other across the icing. Or maybe my medication is just wearing off?

The cake is ultra-moist but not at all heavy. It is a delight to eat alongside a cup of tea. The spices are flavoursome but not overpowering. I always think that black treacle is an unmistakable ingredient - it adds such depth of flavour to a cake.

For the cake:
225g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
225g black treacle
300g self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk (whole or semi skimmed)
3 bulbs stem ginger, finely chopped

For the icing:
150g icing sugar
4 tablespoons stem ginger syrup from the jar
1 bulb stem ginger, finely chopped

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line a traybake tin (approx 30cm x 23cm, 2cm deep) with non stick foil. If you don’t have this, use baking paper.
- Put all the cake ingredients in a mixer and mix until you achieve a well combined smooth batter. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly. Mine took 45 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. You can make this cake the day before serving, but I recommend only making the icing on the day that you will serve.
- Take the cake out of the tin before icing. This will allow the icing to run down the sides, which I always think looks lovely.
- To make the icing mix together the icing sugar and syrup. If the icing is too thick add more syrup, or if you prefer, some water. You’re aiming for a glossy, smooth, pliable but not too runny mix.
- Beat in the chopped ginger. You can, if you prefer sprinkle the ginger over the icing when it’s on the cake but I find it too sticky to guarantee even distribution.
- Pour/spread over the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


April said...


April xx

Holler said...

That cake looks really delicious and I love the way you decorated it.

anudivya said...

This sounds totally yummy, and Christmas health food... oh yeah, bring it on!

J.Danger said...

healthy? So I can totally eat the whole thing?

Maria said...

This cake looks really good, I'm not a massive fan of fruit cake, so this sounds like a great alternative to the traditional

Cakelaw said...

I love gingerbread, and once transfomed into a winter wonderland like this, it is irresistable!

Sam said...

That looks delicious and I love the decoration!

Leks said...

OMG! cake is sooo beautiful...just loved it

Big Boys Oven said...

The deco looks so so so awesome! I am dreaming of the white christmas here in the Tropics of Malaysia! aiyoh!!!!!

greg da baker said...

nice 1 sticky and moist.