Gingerbread Cake

“Had I but a penny in the world, thou
shouldst have it for gingerbread.”


William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

 

   
   


Traditional -- yet extravagant -- Gingerbread Cake

 

Once upon a time, a variety of ancient people would make a honey and ginger cake as a special
treat and only later did molasses replace honey. Both the ancient Romans and the Chinese were
 fond of this delicacy. In the European middle ages, Gingerbread was served as a medicine to aid
in digestion.

It has been written that George Washington’s mother served Gingerbread to the Marquis de Lafayette
 in 1784 on his visit with the President. Whether as a Christmas season cake or the popular cookie,
 gingerbread has been around America for some time.

Over the decades, recipes change sometimes improving and sometimes taking a second place
 to product availability, cost and time in preparation. Gingerbread cake recipes fall into two basic
 categories: first is the time honored cooking method by ‘fire & water’ ( immersing a mold in water
and cooking with lots of steps) and the second is throwing the mixture into a 9 by 9 pan and baking
and finally topping off the cake with some icing. Neither method appeals to me. The first method
comes from a time when ovens didn’t exist and the second was developed when time and cost
was the major concern.

But as has been said, ‘we want recipes that were developed after a period of reflection where
 considerations of time and cost invested are secondary to the extravagancy and wonder
experienced.” Is this a bit over the top? However, you get the idea.

 

   
   

The best way to mix spices before adding them
into the recipe is to place them in a small
container and shake... this is a very old technique

 

Cake spices (all of the traditional)

4 ½  teaspoons Ginger
2 teaspoon Cinnamon

½ teaspoon Cardamom

½  teaspoon Allspice

½  teaspoon Cloves

½  teaspoon Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon Mace

2 teaspoons Orange zest

The Cake

 3 cups flour

7 eggs

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 oz. Knotts Orange Marmalade (1/4 cup)*

½ cup honey

½ cup heavy cream

* I like what adding a little preserves does to a cake recipe… makes it nicely moist and never dry.

 


Glaze or Hard Sauce

½ cup heavy cream
¼  cup butter
1 vanilla bean
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon each of brandy ( Grand Marinier)
1 tablespoon rye whiskey
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon ginger

 

Cooking Temperature

350 degrees for 1 ½ hours

Cool for 30 minutes

Add Hard sauce before serving

   
   

Cracking the eggs!
 

butter and sugar and eggs and spices
   
   

Mixing and finally adding the heavy cream to
'thin' it out a bit
 

...i
nto the over for 1 1/2 hours or until done!
   
   

1 1/2  hours in the oven at 350 degrees
and the house smelled wonderful!

 

Beautiful even before the hard sauce!
   
   

when it came time to take a picture... someone(s)
had some before I could snap the shot!


Laura has happy memories of Gingerbread Cake as a child... a very Scandinavian Dessert!

I hope you enjoyed it, sweetheart!