Spicy Gingerbread Cake

I recently started attending a festival of cake eating – otherwise known as a Canberra Cake Up run by the Canberra Cake Club! It involves 12 bakers, 12 cakes and at least an additional 12 guests to help in consuming the cake. This month’s themes was ‘secret ingredient’ and I created this Spicy Gingerbread Cake. As it turns out, the stout contained within is rather subtle but it makes for a delicious cake all the same!

Serves: Makes one 7 inch cake
Cooking Time: Approximately 2 hours (including cooling time). Plus 15 minutes of icing time.


Ingredients

+ 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons stout beer 
+ 3/4 cup treacle, or dark molasses
+ 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
+ 1 1/4 cups plain flour
+ 1 teaspoon baking powder
+ 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger
+ 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
+ 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
+ 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
+ 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 3/4 cup raw sugar
+ 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
+ 120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
+ 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Icing:
+ 240 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
+ 1.5 cups icing sugar, sifted
+ 675 g cream cheese, at room temperature

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Liberally butter, or line, your 7 inch springform cake tin. 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons stout beer and 3/4 cup treacle, bringing to a boil. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda, but be careful and whisk constantly, as the mixture will foam up when you add the soda! Remove immediately from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Sift together 1 1/4 cups plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer cream 120 g unsalted butter, 3/4 cup raw sugar, and 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar. Using a paddle beater, mix on medium speed until well combined and lightened in color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the two eggs and mix until combined.
 
Reduce the mixer speed to its lowest setting and slowly add the stout and molasses mixture you prepared earlier. Once the stout and molasses mixture has been added completely, stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on to its lowest speed and slowly add the dry ingredients you set aside earlier, beating until just combined. NOTE: The mixture will be very thin and quite liquidy. This is a-okay. 
 
Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, and fold the batter by hand a few more times with the spatula. Next, strain the batter through a medium-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, and place in your cake tin. The straining is important as it helps to avoid any large spice clumps that may not have broken down. 
 

Bake until nicely risen and lightly browned at the edges, about 40 to 50 minutes. When ready, turn the oven off but leave cake inside with the oven door ajar to avoid the centre of the cake falling. After an hour, transfer to a wire cooling rack, remove from tin and let cool. When the cakes are completely cooled, top off with cream cheese icing. To make your icing, roughly chop 240 g unsalted butter and place in bowl of your mixer with 1.5 cups of icing sugar. Using your paddle beater, mix until combined, smooth and glossy. Add 675 g cream cheese to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until combined. Use immediately. Apply using an offset spatula to create a smooth finish. I choose to put a few whole cardamon seeds in the centre to finish it off, but they are quite full of flavour so use with caution.

Original recipe sourced from Hummingbird High

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