Well turned out
Well, it turns out that the naff, wet weather we've been having recently has fooled my brain into wanting warming wintery cakes (that and chocolate, but the chocolate's pretty much a given around here...). What does this mean for me? Well, soft and spicy is often the way to go. These ginger and treacle scones have been keeping me going in the ginger stakes, but I really wanted something more cake-y than scones too. (And there might be an update to the scone recipe appearing soon - I remade them with a few tweaks that I want to record).
See the little bits of ginger trying to hide?
Enter this recipe from the ever reliable (and oh-so-easy-to-search) BBC Good Food website. It looks the part and the promise of rich deep flavour from the combination of spices, dark chocolate and stout was a winner. Except I don't generally have 100ml Guiness or stout just hanging around waiting to be used in a cake recipe. No fear, milk will make an adequate substitute, giving a different but equally satisfactory result.
The tin specified by the recipe is a 2 litre bundt tin. I poured water into mine and it held exactly 2 litres. Good result you would think! But actually, I didn't want to run the risk of the cake overflowing the edges of the tin and giving me cause to scrape remains from the base of the oven so I scaled the recipe back to 2/3 of that specified. I've given my quantities below. From past experience of this type of gingerbread, the batter goes in rather runny and even though I can never imagine it becoming coherent cake, it magically does, and usually rises well too. Hence the caution with the tin. I think (with hindsight) that the tin would have contained the full amount of batter, but as expected, the cake did rise quite well too, so I wasn't upset with having chosen to scale back the recipe.
Soft and moist and utterly luscious
Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Ingredients (scaled to 2/3 of original recipe)
100g unsalted butter
66g golden syrup
115g dark muscovado sugar
90g dark chocolate (should have been 115g but 90g is what I had!)
2 balls stem ginger, chopped
65ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
1/2 tsp bicarb (scant)
135g plain flour
scant tsp baking powder
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
In step two you add the bicarbonate of soda with the instruction that it will foam and froth up. I added my bicarb and for a couple of moments wondered if it was somehow past its best (yet still being well within its best before date) but then lo and behold, the foaming started. It wasn't uncontrollable, but it was a really weird mixture! Just don't be alarmed! I have to say that the technique of mixing the liquid into the dry works far, far better than adding the flour to the liquid ingredients. I have tried the dry into wet method before (as specified by Nigella for her gingerbread recipe) and inevitably end up with lumps of dry flour in the mixture, even if I sift the flour. From now on wet gradually into dry is the way forward.
Spot the pieces of ginger - yum!
I managed to leave my cake a full 4 days before cutting it (wrapped in clingfilm) and was rewarded with a deliciously moist, spicy cake full of flavour and a hint of chocolate, adding to the rich aromas and flavours of the cake. The cake wasn't overwhelmingly gingery or spicy but the spices all complemented each other well, being more than the sum of their parts, with the chocolate adding to this effect. The little chunks of stem ginger were really lovely too, and happily didn't all sink to the bottom as can sometimes be the case with gingerbreads. Can you tell I really, really love gingerbread? I'd thoroughly recommend this recipe, definitely a keeper.