This is a British classic, so of course I turned to Mary Berry. You need a 250g-280g jar of preserved stem ginger in syrup, and a tin of black treacle [molasses], both available in most UK supermarkets.
I’ve made it GF and with more spices; used chiffoning to lighten it; made a thicker & spicier glaze; and added a treacle drizzle for effect and extra flavour.
Serves: up to 16
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs (260g – 280g in total when weighed in their shells), separated
- 225g butter, cubed and softened; plus additional cold butter to grease tin
- 175g soft light brown sugar (light muscavado will make it even richer)
- 200g black treacle
- 320g gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (about 5 seconds’ grating of fresh nutmeg)
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 3 chunks of preserved stem ginger, chopped finely
For the toppings:
- 300g icing sugar (weigh before sifting)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons stem ginger syrup
- 1 – 2 tablespoons cool water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons black treacle (see footnote)
- 1 tablespoon stem ginger syrup
(I used agave syrup, because I had it; but you could use golden syrup if you like)
- 1 chunk of preserved stem ginger, very finely chopped, for garnish
- A 9″ (23cm) diameter round, springform cake tin
- Baking/parchment paper, to line the tin’s bottom
- 2 large, 1 medium, and 1 small mixing bowls
- Electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
- Large metal spoon for folding (optional)
- Cooling rack
- Serving plate or platter
- Preheat your oven to 160 C (140 C fan-assisted). Grease the tin: lightly on the bottom, but especially well around the inside of the ring. Line the bottom with baking paper, ensuring your circle covers the join of the ring. Very lightly grease the top of the paper.
- In the first large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed as the colour and texture change.
- Combine all remaining ingredients in another large bowl with a quick stir, then whisk at medium-high speed (no need to clean the beaters from the whites) for 2 minutes or so until well combined. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula really well at least once whilst whisking.
- Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the rest of the batter, folding vigourously with the spatula or a metal spoon to loosen. Add the rest of the whites and fold gently until no white lumps or streaks remain. The batter will be quite thick.
- Spread the batter in your prepared tin, and smooth the top. Bake for around 1 hour (turn the tin halfway through), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and leave the cake in the tin on a cooling rack for up to an hour to fully cool. (You can unclip and remove the ring after about 20 minutes.)
- When the cake is out of the oven, make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl and add the spices, 4 Tbsp ginger syrup, 1 Tbsp water, and vanilla. Stir together vigourously by hand until fully combined. This will create a thicker type of icing; add more water to make it drizzling consistency if you prefer. Place the bowl in the fridge until the cake has fully cooled.
- Put the black treacle and 1 Tbsp ginger syrup into a small bowl, and stir together (see footnote).
- Slide off the tin’s base and remove the paper, then transfer the fully cooled cake to a serving plate/platter.
- Give the chilled glaze a really good stir to loosen it, then pour/spread over the cake. Drizzle/splatter the treacle over the top, then sprinkle over the chopped ginger. Leave the cake in the fridge for up to 30 minutes until the glaze is slightly hardened again if necessary.
This is entirely optional, as the spicy-sweet glaze on its own is just fine. I’ve been experimenting with making my cakes a bit more ‘wow’, though, and the treacle drizzle definitely adds a bit extra, both in taste and visual oomph.
And, being a ‘Ginger & Treacle Cake’ after all, I liked including both of the main ingredients in the topping.