Another swathe of rainy and overcast weather has set in for the day here in Cape Town. Downstairs the under floor heating has provided a nice toasty warmth, a good day for making some comfort food. Gingerbread with its warming spices is just the thing and with oranges being in season, I think they will be perfect choice to use in the glaze for the topping of this delicious cake.
Rich and treacly this gingerbread is addictively good. I think this recipe could also be a good alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.
For the cake
225g/8oz butter, softened
225g/8oz light muscovado sugar
225g/8oz golden syrup
225g/8oz black treacle
225g/8oz self-raising flour, sifted
225g/8oz wholemeal self-raising flour, sifted
4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. stem ginger (from a jar), chopped
2 free-range eggs, beaten
300ml/10½fl oz. milk
For the orange icing
150g/5oz icing sugar
1 orange, juice and zest
Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin at least 4cm/1½in deep with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup and black treacle into a pan and heat gently until the mixture has melted evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift the flours, ground ginger and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl and mix gently. Pour the cooled butter mixture into the flour. Add the eggs and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Pour the cake batter into the tin and level the surface with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake has risen and is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly in the tin, then transfer the cake to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, for the orange icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add about two tablespoons of the orange juice and mix to a smooth paste. Add more orange juice, as necessary, until you get a smooth icing of the consistency you desire.
Pour the icing over the cooled cake and spread lightly, allowing it to ooze over the edges. Sprinkle over chopped orange zest and set the cake aside until the icing has set.