Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gingerbread Cakes

There's nothing quite like the delicious smell of gingerbread baking. And I have to say the taste is one of my absolute favourites. There is something old-fashioned and so cozy and comforting about the smell and taste of deep and rich spicy gingerbread.

I had decided that this year I was not only going to make gingerbread in a loaf pan but that I was going to make some mini gingerbread in small fluted tins.

While the large of the tins was non-stick, the smaller ones were old vintage tins. Instead of coating with oil and flour I oiled them and then sprinkled cocoa in them, so that I wouldn't end up with big white flour lumps when I turned them out. The oil and cocoa powder, worked like a charm, they slid out easily once baked.

The small tins are just two inches across, making them two-bite size. The "larger" tins are also quite small, only three inches across. Just enough for two servings. Either size is perfect for giving as gifts, especially if you like to give an assortment of baking and want things to be sampling size.

They look lovely straight from the pan, but I also like to sprinkle them with icing sugar as if they had just had a light dusting of snow.

The recipe I use makes a truly delicious moist gingerbread with rich flavour and comes from the Crabtree & Evelyn Cook Book, c1989. Here, with a few changes of my own, is the recipe.

English Gingerbread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I use allspice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon ground gingerroot (optional)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons icing sugar (to dust with once baked and cooled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In saucepan, melt and mix in brown sugar, molasses, and corn syrup. Stir over low heat until well dissolved and mixed. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, spices, lemon zest and salt. Add butter mixture and eggs in center of dry ingredients. Stir well until mixture is smoothly blended.

Add baking soda to boiling water, stir and add to mixing bowl. Pour over batter and stir slowly until batter is well blended.

Pour batter into a 9-inch square pan or a loaf pan (buttered and floured), or a series of smaller pans or tins. Bake in 350 degree F. oven for 30 - 40 minutes (less perhaps for smaller tins or pans). Test with a toothpick or skewer to see if done. Toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the middle of baking

Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Turn out and dust with icing sugar before cutting.


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