GINGERBREAD SPONGE

I love ginger! This is the most delightful gingerbread sponge, just enough spice and zing without being overpowering. I often add a layer of strawberry jam between the cake layers & top the cake w its fabulous cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries. Definitely a great cake for the festive season if you're looking for an alternative to fruit cake.

 

INGREDIENTS

– 300ml whole milk

150g soft brown sugar

450ml golden syrup

5 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp ground cinnamon

2tsp ground all spice

180ml unsalted butter, chilled & cut into cubes

zest of one orange (or lemon)

350g self-raising flour, sifted

1tsp bicarb soda, sifted

3 eggs

 
 

method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degC, grease & line 3 x 8” tins w baking paper. If you only have one, that’s alright – just bake each cake individually
  2. In a pot, combine milk, zest, sugar, golden syrup, ginger, cinnamon and all spice; bring to boil before removing from stove. Stir constantly during cooking to avoid burning
  3. Once off the heat, slowly stir in butter cubes with a whisk . Cool mixture slightly
  4. In a mixer, place the flour and bi-carb soda together. Slowly add the slightly cooled spice mixture, before adding eggs one by one
  5. Divide mixture evenly between the three tins, and bake for 25-30 mins or until cooked. To check, insert a skewer – when cooked it will come out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from tins

    To frost & finish the cake
     
  6. When completely cooled, using a serrated knife, run it over the surface to even them out so they sit on top of each other balanced and more or less equally in width
  7. Put a little bit of cream cheese frosting on the base of the plate so that the cake does not move during frosting process
  8. Place the first layer of cake on the plate, and cover surface liberally with frosting. You can do this with a spatula, or alternatively fill a piping bag with the frosting and squeeze directly onto surface of the cake
  9. Using a palette knife, smooth the frosting into a uniform surface, before putting the second layer of cake on top
  10. Repeat process 7 & 8, and place the final layer of cake UPSIDE DOWN so that the top of the cake is now completely flat
  11. Press down tightly, and have a look on the side if the cake is straight up. If not, just gently nudge the cake layers until it’s more or less straight
  12. With your piping bag & a circular nozzle, pipe even blobs around the circumference of the cake, working from the outer ring to the inner until you’ve completely covered the surface.
  13. Finish with a sprinkle of edible flowers, crystallized ginger chunks. It’s now ready for consumption!

Cream cheese FROSTING

  1. Combine in kitchen aid and beat until light and fluffy, this process can take 15 mins or even longer sometimes – don’t worry! The longer you beat the frosting mixture, the fluffier and lighter in colour it gets!

 

TO DECORATE

– 1× cream cheese frosting recipe
– crystallized ginger, chopping roughly (as much as you like)
– edible flowers (you can get these at The Essential Ingredient  or any speciality cake decoration shop
 
– 400g cream cheese, room temp
– 100g unsalted butter, room temp
– 30g pure icing sugar, sifted
– zest of one lemon