You simply cannot bear the brunt of the influx of relatives that Christmas brings without cake. A get-in-my-face cake. An I can’t hear you crap Uncle John, this is so amazing, I’m in a happy place kind of cake.
This is that cake. It tastes festive without all the weird dried fruits of the traditional fruitcake that sits in your guts like a dead weight for weeks afterwards. It is light as air, sweet, caramel and spicy. Basically it tastes like rainbows. Make it and good things will come.
Gingerbread cake with mixed spice butter cream, salted agave caramel and
shitfaced whiskey soaked muscatels
For the Cake
225g unsalted butter
110g golden syrup
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
350g plain, low protein flour (cake flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp each of ground cloves, cardamom and nutmeg
Generous pinch of salt.
For the Caramel
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup agave nectar (I used dark and all was good)
1/2 teaspoons coarse fleur de sel salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
2-3 heaped tsp mixed spice
1-3 bunches muscatels
½ cup whiskey
Add the whiskey and muscatels to a bowl and set aside. Make sure you push the muscatels down into the whisky so the two become well acquainted.
For the caramel, add the butter, sugar, cream and agave nectar to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the sugar has dissolved and it takes on a lovely amber, golden appearance. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly then stir through the vanilla.
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease 2 x18cm round, deep cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
Add the butter, sugar, molasses and golden syrup to a saucepan and place over low heat and cook until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly. Slowly beat the eggs and milk into the butter and sugar mixture. Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt into the saucepan and beat until just combined. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for about ten minutes then gently turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely.
To make the butter cream, using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl for a few minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and spices and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes until smooth.
Spread the first layer of cake with a generously amount of the buttercream. Place the second layer on top of this and repeat with the remaining buttercream. Drizzle over the caramel and top with the whisky muscatels.
Want more Christmas recipes? Here’s our guide to not stuffing up your Christmas turkey.