Monday, December 7, 2015

Gingerbread honey cake because Christmas is coming

Gingerbread honey cake / Bolo de gingerbread e mel

I was sitting home the other day, thinking about Christmas and how it is my favorite time of the year. I thought about my Christmas tree, and how I would be decorating it in a few days and felt miserable because this year I would not be able to prepare the Christmas recipes for the blog like I’d done in previous years.

I decided that there would be at least one recipe for the Christmas series this year, went to the kitchen and baked this cake – actually, I baked some cookies, too. ;)

This gingerbread cake is super tender, smells and tastes delicious and will perfume your entire home while in the oven and even after cooled down. It is, in fact, a loaf cake, but the one I used was a bit smaller and I ended up with a loaf + a small round cake (I used a 1-cup capacity pan). Since the mini cake looked so adorable that was the one I used for the photo – I hope the cake’s cuteness entices you to bake it, too, and you can thank me later. ;)

Gingerbread honey cake
slightly adapted from the beautiful Home Baked: More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies

85g crystallized ginger
50g crystallized orange peel
220g (1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
½ cup (50g) almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
100g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 ¼ cups (300ml) whole milk, room temperature
100g light brown sugar
150ml honey
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Cointreau (optional)
¼ teaspoon Amaretto (optional)
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 6-cup capacity loaf pan, line it with baking paper leaving an overhang in two opposite sides and butter it as well.

Chop the crystallized ginger and crystallized peel, place in a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the flour. Set aside.
Combine remaining flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt and spices in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and on low speed mix the ingredients together until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in crystallized ginger and orange peel. In the meantime, heat together over low heat milk, brown sugar and honey until honey and sugar are dissolved (mixture should not get too hot, otherwise it might cook the eggs). Pour over the flour mixture and stir until just combined – do not overmix. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, Cointreau and Amaretto.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully unmold and cool completely over the rack before peeling off the paper.
Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Serves 8-10

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