Gingerbread and golden syrup cake
Much like it came to Westeros, winter has come to Canberra.
If you’re not from Australia and you’ve ever taken a televised journey to Summer Bay, you might think that our winters are a mild inconvenience – something that causes us to put on a light sweater but doesn’t prevent us throwing a ‘shrimp’ on the ‘barbie’ or surfing some ‘sick’ waves.
Be under no illusion. Canberra winter is not like that.
Local wisdom in Canberra holds that winter starts on ANZAC day (25 April) and finishes around the time of Floriade (mid-September to mid-October). It just so happens that this year, Canberra has been experiencing its coldest temperatures in years. I’m talking lows of minus seven degrees.
All this is – in my opinion – for the better because it allows us to experience the wonders of a northern hemisphere-style Christmas…in July. And what Christmas celebration would be complete without a touch of ginger.
Makes 3 x 6 inch layer cakes
260 grams of plain flour
3 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of ground ginger
115 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
300 grams of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
3 large eggs
250 millilitres of buttermilk
Golden syrup caramel
20 grams of unsalted butter
45 grams of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
30 millilitres of thickened cream
½ teaspoon of salt
Swiss meringue buttercream
525 grams of caster sugar
300 grams of egg whites
750 grams of unsalted butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
Edible gold lustre powder
Make the gingerbread cake
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Grease three 6 inch cake tins and line with baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the brown sugar to the butter and cream for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the vanilla bean paste and eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk buttermilk until combined.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out of the centre of the cakes clean. Set aside to cool.
Make the golden syrup caramel
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan on a low heat.
- Add the caster sugar and golden syrup. Dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add the thickened cream and salt.
Make the Swiss meringue buttercream
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the stand mixer bowl over a saucepan of water to create a double boiler. Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the stand mixer bowl.
- Heat the sugar and egg whites to 70â—¦C, stirring occasionally with a whisk.
- Once at temperature, transfer the stand mixture bowl to the stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on a high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
- Change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment. Add the butter slowly on a low speed.
- Once all the butter is combined and the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla bean paste.
Assemble the gingerbread cake with golden syrup caramel
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, level them to ensure that the tops of the cakes are flat.
- Using a small amount of buttercream, affix one cake to a cake board or plate.
- Spread a small amount of buttercream and golden syrup caramel on the first cake. Repeat with the second layer of the cake.
- Use the remaining buttercream, frost the top and sides of the cake. Use a pallet knife to give it is rustic effect.
- Chill the cake in the fridge for about an hour or until the buttercream is completely set.
- Using a small brush, add edible gold lustre powder to the ridges of the buttercream.
- Serve the cake with a generous dollop of the golden syrup caramel.