Thursday 20 February 2014

Sticky Gingerbread with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

This is quite a "grown up" cake, dark and dense, damp with treacle and stout; quite sophisticated too, lightly spiced with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, cardamon and cloves. It's my modern interpretation of the Jamaican ginger cake we bought occasionally at the supermarket when I was a kid.  I'm surprised I liked it, ginger cake is polarising, like liquorice, which I hated, and still do.  

I don't make this cake often as I'm the only one in the house who likes it, so when I do, I make a mini version in 6 inch tins. It looks quite cute, erring on the ridiculous, but it's cheerful with its sunny, lemon topped frosting. I've used my favourite mascarpone frosting, but it also works really well with a super lemony, almost astringent, water based icing or a boiled icing, try Martha's recipe for seven minute frosting, swapping out the vanilla for the juice and zest of a lemon or 2. Frosted, iced or unadorned I really like this old fashioned little cake.


155g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄8 tspn ground cardamom
pinch salt
150ml stout, eg. guinness
180ml treacle
½ tsp bicarb soda
2 large eggs, at room temperature
170g granulated sugar
110g light brown sugar
125ml vegetable oil

• preheat the oven to 180ÂșC

• butter two 6 by 3 inch cake tins and dust with flour

• sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt into a bowl and set aside

• pour the treacle and stout into a smallish pan, stir together over medium heat, and bring to a boil (don't walk away at this point or at best you'll be left with sticky black ash that's a nightmare to get off your stove, at worst you'll be dousing a fire; I speak from experience...) • whisk in the bicarb soda, take care as it will bubble and foam, immediately take off the heat and leave the vile smelling mixture to cool to room temperature.

• whisk together the eggs, granulated and brown sugar on medium speed until well combined and lightened in colour, 3 to 4 minutes • slowly drizzle in the oil and beat until combined • reduce speed to low and slowly add the stout mixture • scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, on low speed slowly add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined • fold by hand a few times with the spatula and divide the batter between the tins.
• bake in the centre of your oven for 40-45 minutes, until risen and lightly browned at the edges, transfer to wire racks and let cool in the tins for 20 minutes • run a knife around the edges of the tins, invert the cakes onto the racks and cool for another 20 minutes • wrap tightly in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for at least an hour to cool completely • choose the best shaped cake for the top, trim the base cake so that it sits flat on your cake stand or plate • spread the base with a generous layer of mascarpone frosting, top with the remaining cake, slather with frosting then zest a lemon over the top
• store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve, allow it to come to room temperature before you hoe in :) the frosted cake will keep in the fridge for 3 days, unfrosted cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months

gingerbread recipe adapted from the miette bakery book

Mascarpone frosting

250g mascarpone
250g soft cream cheese 
250ml thickened cream
160g icing sugar
zest of 2 lemons (some reserved to decorate)
juice of 1/2 lemon

• in a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar until combined • add the lemon zest, juice and thickened cream, beat until smooth

• store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days

mascarpone frosting adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly pink velvet cake, another great recipe!

Click on over to the sticky and sweet and check out Sophie's "mars bar slice cupcakes" then follow the links at the bottom to see other bloggers childhood favourite treats...

ps. I'm just loving my new (very old) butcher's block, my mum is moving house and won't have a spot for it, luck me :) thanks mum! 

Love to hear from you, comments link is below, right at the bottom :)


JJ - 84thand3rd said...

Oh I adore anything gingerbread inspired (and anything lemon for that matter!) - I'd be happy to help you out with eating the cake ;D I'm with you on liquorice though - no thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm the same: love anything ginger and lemon, but have always loathed liquorice... would love to try this recipe out. ;)

simmer and boyle said...

happy to share cake with you anytime JJ ;)

simmer and boyle said...

Thanks for stopping by redhotcentre ;) let me know if you make the cake...

James said...

This is very nice article. Thanks for sharing.