This dark, rich, spicy cake is a tasty treat at any time, but especially on these (often) cool, gray late winter days.
Tho… when I say spicy, I have to admit that I think it could be more so. I have already doubled the ground cloves in this recipe to 1/2 teaspoon from the 1/4 teaspoon called for by the author, Nigella Lawson; the next time I make this, I believe I shall increase all the spices – three teaspoons each ginger and cinnamon, and one full teaspoon for the cloves. Yeh, I think that should do it.
Still and all, this really is a pretty terrific cake just as it is, on its own, or topped with the cream cheese glaze I make for red velvet waffles.
Note 1: Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a pure cane sugar syrup made in the UK. You can find it in the British foods section of a well-stocked market, or at a pretty decent price through Amazon, where it is also Prime eligible, so, free shipping and all that. If you’re stuck, you could use corn syrup, but I don’t believe it would be as good.
Note 2: I double checked this recipe on line and in the book it was printed in, Kitchen, and yes, there is, indeed no salt called for or needed, even if you’re using unsalted butter; tho, if it really bugs you, go ahead and toss in mebbe half a teaspoon.
•10 tbsp butter
•1 cup golden syrup
•1 cup (packed) brown sugar + 2 tbsp
•1 cup Guinness*
•2 tsp ground ginger
•2 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground cloves
•2 cups flour
•2 tsp baking soda
•1-1/4 cup sour cream
*Have Guinness left over? Use it for corned beef! St. Paddy’s is comin’!
Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil – or use a disposable foil cake pan – apply cooking spray, and heat your oven to 325º.
Add the butter, Lyle’s golden syrup, brown sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in at least a two quart saucepan (a bit larger will come in handy later) and warm over low heat until the butter and sugar have melted, stirring every now and again to blend everything together. Remove from the heat to the side of the stove.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour together with the baking soda (and, if you’ve decided to add it, the salt) until well mixed.
Add to the Guinness mixture and whisk until well blended and smooth – here’s where a larger pot would’ve come in handy, the two quart was filled enough that I had to be cautious whisking to keep from tossing bits of the mixture out of the pan. As it was, I still had a few lumps that I could not get rid of, but it doesn’t seem to have affected my finished gingerbread at all.
Combine the sour cream and eggs in a mixing bowl until well blended and creamy, then add the Guinness and flour mixture and blend on low until nice and creamy, giving the sides of the bowl a scrape or two while you’re at it.
Turn the batter into the prepared baking pan and pop into the hot oven for 45 to 50 minutes. When done, the center will be puffed up a bit and the sides will be pulling away from the pan.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into nice, chunky squares.
This gingerbread is perfectly fine on its own, but if you’re feeling a little fancy, you can dust the top with sifted confectioners’ sugar before slicing and arranging on a platter, or, you could make that cream cheese glaze, or even top your slice with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
I could also suggest popping the individual slices into the ‘wave for 15 to 30 seconds immediately before serving.
Mmmm, warm gingerbread.