• Val Beattie

Happy New Year! Gingerbread latte cake

Belated Happy New Year to you all! Nice to see the nights stretching bit too!

As you can see from my website,Facebook and Instagram I had a busy time before Christmas cake wise.

The Christmas cakes had been baked a couple of months earlier and I was doucing them in brandy every couple of weeks so it just just decorating them. I decorated them with fondant icing - Rudolph, Santa and a Christmas Tree.Underneath the fondant was marzipan. I had not coated a cake in marzipan for years and I was surprised how flat I managed to get it with my cake smoother. I could not cut the cake to cut uneven edges off as I would have done with a madeira sponge, as it was so full of fruit.

I had some cakes to do for my mum's hairdressers as a thank you - enjoyed making the hair dryers, brushes. The scissors were intricate but got there! Pic at bottom of page.

For New Year my family visited for the day so I made a Gingerbread Latte Cake from the Sainsbury's magazine. It was delicious. I loved the flavours all together in the cake and the icing finished it off to give it decandence. It is a big cake so you could half the ingredients and do a 2 layer cake instead. I would check it earlier in the oven if you are gong to do that.

Here is the recipe below:-

Cakes- 1 tbsp. lemon juice,

200ml milk,

350g self raising flour,

1 tbsp. ground ginger,

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon,

1/2 tsp. ground cloves,

1 tsp. baking powder,

1 tsp. fine sea salt,

50g ground almonds,

100g light muscovado sugar,

200g unsalted butter(at room temperature),

3 large eggs,

2 tbsp. black treacle, (Val's tip - heat your spoon under the hot tap before you put it in the treacle - it will come off your spoon no problem).

6 pieces of stem ginger in syrup (finely chopped).

Coffee syrup - 3 tbsp.instant coffee ( Val's tip - I used decaff coffee as children were going to be eating it.).

75g caster sugar.

For the icing- 250g very soft unsalted butter,

1 tsp. ground ginger,

500g icing sugar, sifted.

2 tsp. vanilla extract,

2 tbsp. stem ginger syrup - from the jar.

1 x 280g tub of full fat soft cheese , at room temperature. (Val's tip - give it a good beat before you add anything to it to get lumps out).

option to decorate with desiccated coconut - I did not do this.

1.Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cms sponge tins. Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside to sour - it will thicken and curdle.

2. Sift flour,spice, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix in ground almonds and sugar. Add the butter and mix till like breadcrumbs. Beat in eggs, one at a time then add the treacle, soured milk and chopped stem ginger.

3. Divide the mix equally between the 2 tins and bake for 40-45 mins until risen and skewer comes out clean (in centre of cake).

4. Make the coffee syrup by combining the coffee and sugar in bowl and adding 5 tablespoons of hot water ( I would make the first tablespoon, cold water, to stop burning the coffee - it affects the taste). Mix till dissolved then brush or drizzle over the cakes. Leave cakes to cool in tins, then put in the fridge to make it easier to cut.

5.For the icing, cream butter and ground ginger till soft and creamy. Add the sifted icing sugar, one quarter at a time with the mixer on slow - till icing fluffy and pale. Add vanilla and ginger syrup then the soft cheese and beat till smooth. Chill till you are ready to ice, so that icing becomes spreadable.

6. To assemble cake, cut both cakes horizontally in half then add buttercream to sandwich together all 4 layers. Spread butter cream down the sides of cake and on the top using a palette knife. (Val's tip - when your palette knife is getting too full of icing clean off the icing back into your bowl. Easier to keep your knife clean at the start when your spreading). This layer of icing is called the crumb coat - to capture the loose crumbs and stops spoiling the outside layer. Chill the cake and rest of icing for 30mins till crumb coat has set.

7. (Val's tips - use a brush to clean whatever you have your cake on - get rid of any rogue crumbs). Using your palette knife,coat the sides and top of cake with a thicker layer of icing, then smooth it as much as you can. Use your knife to swirls to represent snow drifts. Scatter with coconut if you are using it. Chill for at least 30mins. Take it out of fridge 30mins- 1 hour before serving.

#Recipes #Cakes #Baking #Homebaking #Christmas

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