Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Guinness Gingerbread - from Tea with Bea

This recipe comes from the gorgeous new baking book 'Tea with Bea', which I received in the post this week from  Dom at Belleau Kitchen, after winning one of his generous give-aways. I could happily cook and eat any of the recipes in the book - they all sound delicious and are really well photographed. Thanks Dom - that's another few inches on the hips!

I decided to start with a recipe using oil instead of butter, to be in keeping with my current scheme of baking with less saturated fat. The recipe for gingerbread Guinness cupcakes suggested variations to make it into larger layer cakes, so I decided to make a larger tray bake (25 x 25cm) in a single layer, and not use the cream cheese topping. You can read about Tea with Bea, the author, Bea Vo, and see this recipe here, on the publisher's blog.

Despite it being a relatively simple recipe, I still managed to make a mistake which I worried would spoil the cake - I added a whole tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to the Guinness and treacle mixture - no wonder it frothed so much! You really do need to heed the warning to use a tall saucepan, even with the right amount of soda. However, this extra soda couldn't be tasted in the finished cake, which was my main worry, and didn't appear to affect the cake adversely in any other way.

Another point to mention, which I didn't notice until after I'd cooked the cake, is that the temperatures given in the recipes are for a fan oven - I find this quite unusual, as most recipes are still written either for conventional ovens, or give both temperatues in the text. This didn't seem to have any effect on my cake, even though I cooked it on a lower than specified temperature.

I decorated the cake with a drizzle of glacé icing and some slices of crystallised ginger, as a the cream cheese frosting in the recipe is too rich for an everyday cake, and doesn't fit in with the less saturated fat effort! The cake itself was very light but still managed to be moist and sticky. The combination of spices used was really good - the cloves and allspice  gave a good depth of flavour and the amount of ginger gave a real kick to the flavour! We all liked this cake a lot, so I'm sure the recipe will be used again, with no mistakes next time, and a slightly smaller tin, I think, to give a deeper cake.


Baking Addict said...

Looks delicious! Congratulations on winning the book. I think I need to order one for myself :)

Foodycat said...

That sounds like a very good cake! I do like a forgiving recipe.

Mary said...

Your cake looks wonderful and you've inspired me to give the Guinness cake a try. This is my first visit to your blog, so I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I am so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

looking good!!... I have to give this one a go now, it's marked to make but I hadn't got round to it yet... love what you did with the drizzle icing, very pretty... congrats on winning the book, I'm glas it went to a good home x

Suelle said...

Thanks for visiting, Mary - so pleased you liked what you found here!

Foodycat - two mistakes in one cake is a bit OTT for me - it was a very forgiving recipe.

Baking Addict - it really is a lovely book.

Dom - thanks once again!

Choclette said...

Congratulations Suelle, it's fun to get something unexpected like this. The ingredients sound intriguing and I'm thinking something like these might be good for a solstice bonfire party we've been invited too - hmmmmm. You've made it look very stylish with your arty drizzling - very nice.

C said...

Oooh, yum, I do love a good ginger cake and this one sounds great! Good that it's adaptable enough to take the changes you made too. I love your topping, I'm not sure I would want cream cheese with ginger cake.