Monday, December 10, 2018

Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake (layer cake)

I'm a member of a group called Baking Bloggers, every month we bake something with a theme.  This month it's Gingerbread.    And btw the group is led by Sue of Palatable Pastime
I was all set to make a Gingerbread House - I might still make one - but fortuitously, it's also the week I bake and donate a cake to our local Legion for their cake-raffle.  They raffle off a cake every week, and use the funds for local projects.
I figure it's a win win situation, I get to bake, and don't have to eat it, (saves a little when I step on the scale), and they get a cake they can raffle off.
They do appreciate it as well. 
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake
If I'd had my wits about me, I would have just told you about the last cake I made, it had Ginger in it, as well as on top, but it wasn't a true Gingerbread cake. 
It was darn good though.
Anyhooo, I went through my cookbooks, found this recipe in a cookbook that I received at my bridal shower, a few decades ago, and decided to make it. 
Then as I looked at the ingredients, decided to play around a little.
It's my cake and I can play if I want to.
So there!

I done made a full on touchdown, again.
See, I do know some football lingo.

One of the fun things I did, to up the "gingerbreadness" of the cake was make up a gingerbread spice mix.   I went to my Brunekager recipe, for the spices,  and then played with the proportions a little.
And I added some crushed allspice along with touch of nutmeg.

For the frosting, I went with my favorite frosting.  It's basically a boiled milk frosting, aka - Ermine frosting or Faux Buttercream along with a few other names.  I amped up the flavors a little though.  I wanted the frosting to have a distinct ginger taste so I heated up the milk with some of my homemade candied ginger, let it cool and fished out the ginger, and kept it.  After I tasted it, I decided it was almost perfect. I wanted an over all ginger undercurrent and I got it, sort of.  It wasn't quite gingery enough though, so I added a half teaspoon of powdered ginger and that made it perfect.   Next time, I'll just add the powdered ginger and forget about simmering the ginger in the milk.
I also went to Cook's test kitchen to see if they had any hints, and found a recipe that sounded amazing, but was just too darn fiddly.  Although I appreciate the time and effort they put in to develop the recipes.

A couple of hints for decorating.  Place a dab of frosting on the middle of the cake plate and place the first cake layer on top of it, bottoms up.
Then place half of the frosting in a piping bag and pipe a ring around the outside of the first layer and then fill in the middle. So much easier to get a nice even layer down, and the ring around the outside helps to fill in the gap between the first and second layer.
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake
And then I had fun.  I colored a little of the frosting red, and a little green and piped poinsettia flowers on the top.  
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake
 I didn't get too carried away, did I?
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake

Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake
I finished it off with some star tips around the edge and some on the sides as well.
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake

I did get some major thumbs up on the cake I made though. It was rich and gingerbready without being overly sweet or cloyingly spicy.  I did get to taste the cake, as the winner shared the cake out with everyone.  The frosting had a lovely creamy ginger spice to it and that just added to the cake.  The cocoa added a rich dark look and the coffee extract added a nice note as well.
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake

Yield: 2 layer cake

Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cake

prep time: 30 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 60 mins
This dark, rich Gingerbread cake is perfect as a layer cake, slathered or frosted with Ermine Frosting. The hint of ginger in the frosting, complements the cake beautifully.


2 Cups Self Rising Flour
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons Molasses
2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoons Gingerbread Spice
1 tsp. Coffee extract

Gingerbread Spice
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole allspice - ground or 1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Ermine Frosting

1 cup milk
1cup sugar
1 cup butter
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


Ermine Frosting:
Whisk the flour into the cold milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.  Set aside to cool, then press through a sieve to remove any lumps.  When totally cold, cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixture until the sugar has broken down.  Add the cooled cooked milk mixture, 1/4 cup at a time and whisk at a high speed.  This mixture will look kinda weird at first, but letting it mix for about 7-10 minutes will make it double in size almost.  This recipe makes enough to frost a two layer cake.  The taste is lighter and less sweet than regular buttercream. 
Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.  This is especially important if you ground your own allspice and also helps to break up the cocoa powder.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 2 - 8 or 9 inch cake pans. 
 Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until it is lightened up and the sugar crystals are broken down. Add the coffee extract.   Add the eggs one at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture.  As soon as the eggs are incorporated, then add the molasses or whisk the molasses into the milk, add one third of the flour, combine and then add half the milk, mix, then another third of the flour mixture and then the rest of the milk, finishing it off with the remaining flour

Pour half the batter into each pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back with a light touch in the center or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Invert onto a cooling rack. 

Frost with some Ermine Frosting which has 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger added to it. (recipe above)

If you wish, you can take a little of the frosting and tint some red and some green and pipe poinsettia flowers on top to decorate the cake and make it look festive. 
Note:  I actually weigh each layer on my scale.  This helps me to keep it even.  
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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt

This cake, all I can say is, I hit it out of the park and it was a home run. 

All right I know it's actually football season, but I don't follow football, but I do like baseball.

I have no idea what a good football metaphor or analogy is for this.  

All I know is that I made this cake for the Legion Cake Raffle last week, and it was so good, I made another one this week and took it with me to NPA as my offering.

I'll be adding this cake to my regular rotation as well. 

OK, so it's an excuse for me to make more Candied Orange slices.  
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
You got me. sigh.
But do try this cake out.
My mom would have loved it as well. She did love her candied ginger, and would savor it whenever she got some.  I just wish she was still around so I could spoil her and make sure she had all she wanted.
I seem to recall though, that the kind she used to get was candied ginger in syrup.   Doesn't matter, she would have liked this cake.   
Drizzling it with some of the syrup from making the Candied Orange Slices.  This is why you keep the syrup.    You need to drizzle it while the cake is still hot, it helps the syrup to soak in. 
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
 And it's ready to decorate. 
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
 After the glaze has been poured over it, I cut up some of the orange slices, (I used my kitchen shears for that, worked much better than the chef's knife.)
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
 Then I took some of the syrup, which I'd spread on a silpat baking mat, and caramelized to make brittle, and broke it up a little.  And sprinkled it on top of the orange slices and chopped candied ginger.  Which is totally optional, btw. 
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
I tell you, sometimes I have way too much fun in the kitchen.  The cake not only looked good, but it tasted really good as well. 
The extra 5 minutes I took decorating it, was purely worth it. 

Candied Orange and Ginger Bundt Cake
Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake

prep time: 20 minscook time: 55 minstotal time: 75 mins


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz.) butter
3 eggs
2 cup milk
3 cups Self Rising Flour
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier Liqueur
2 tablespoons Self rising flour
1/2 cup minced Candied Ginger 
 1/2 cup Minced Candied Orange Peel

For the topping:
2 slices of Candied Orange - cut into             quarters
1+  tablespoon minced Candied Ginger
1/2 cup orange simple syrup
1/4 cup ginger simple syrup
 1/4 cup simple syrup, use the orange simple syrup.
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier liqueur or Vanilla extract 
2- 3 cups confectioner sugar mixed together to pouring consistency
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (if needed to get the glaze to pouring consistency


Preheat oven to 325 degrees, grease a 10 cup bundt pan.  Set aside.

Sprinkle the 1/2 cup minced Candied Ginger and the 1/2 cup minced Orange peel with 2 tablespoons of self rising flour.  Mix together, set aside. (this keeps the ginger and orange from sinking down to the bottom of the cake and helps to keep them suspended inside the cake. 
Cream the butter and sugars together until the mixture lightens up and looks fluffy and there are no sugar crystals.  This takes a good ten minutes or so. Scrape the sides down, and then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix together.  Next add 1/4 cup of the self rising flour and mix until combined.   Scrape down the sides between addition.   Add one third of the remaining flour, mix until combined on medium speed.  Then add half the milk, mix until it is just combined, add the next third of flour, mix gently then add the last of the milk, finishing off with the flour, mixing gently each time.  Fold in the floured minced ginger and orange, along with the Grand Marnier liqueur.     Pour or spoon into the greased bundt pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center springs back when touched lightly. 
Invert onto a cake rack and leave for 10 minutes to cool down.   As soon as it has cooled a little, mix the 1/2 cup orange simple syrup and the ginger syrup together and spoon evenly over the warm cake.  Doing this while the cake is warm, lets the syrup soak into the cake, making it a lot moister.  
Let the cake sit for another 1/2 hour or until almost all the way cool.  Dribble or spoon the glaze over top.  Decorate with the Candied Ginger and the sliced, quartered Candied Orange.  
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Monday, December 3, 2018

First Monday Favorites - December 2018 -25

I don't know about you but I've already started my Christmas Baking.  I got my home made Caramels done yesterday, made a few truffles and then went OMG, it's almost time for First Monday Favorites, again.
So here I am.
I started this link up party as an homage to a group called Secret Recipe Club, I was a member of for many years until it faded away.  We were a group of bloggers who were assigned another blog to make a recipe from and tell everyone else about it.  I got some great recipes and made a few online blogger friends from it.   We posted our recipes on a Monday and then got to see what everyone else made.   Since I missed that, I started doing doing my own version of it, only I asked other bloggers to come on by and link up their favorite recipe from the previous month. 
And here it is. 

I made a few new dishes last month, but the one that sticks out is actually the one I made for my daughter who is vegan, and who loves her Mexican flavored food. 
I'd made the initial dish back this spring when we visited, but didn't take any pictures of it, but decided I wanted to feature it on the blog, so I made it again.
And even though I'm a carnivore, or rather omnivore, I thought it was excellent, and I will make it again.
I called it Vegetarian almost Vegan Chile Verde.   And with the addition of the beans, you really don't miss the meat, much.  At least I didn't.  Vegetarian Chile Verde
First Monday Favorites

Can't wait to see what dish you made last month that was your favorite.

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Candied Orange Slices

These little candied Orange slices are addictive. 
Candied Orange Slices
I speak from experience. 
I was actually very good the other day and brought what was left of mine to a gathering and watched them get eaten, gleefully.   
I used a few slices to decorate a Candied Orange and Candied Ginger Bundt cake as well.  I'll be sharing that recipe in a couple of days.  And I also peeled and pithed one orange so I could have some candied pieces for the cake.
  Wait a minute, is pithed a word?  OK, so I very carefully removed the pith from some of the slices. Picky, picky, picky.

But first, you have to make some Candied Orange slices, and reserve the syrup that they cooked in.

 Fair warning, I've now made a couple of batches of candied oranges and picked the best photo's from each time.
 Used my Silpat mat for the second batch and that worked out well. 
Candied Orange Slices
 And one more picture of the little orange jewel.

I used the orange syryp to brush on top of the bundt cake and then any leftover syrup, can be used for other stuff.  Maybe with some vodka over ice? 

Candied Orange Slices
Candied Orange Slices

prep time: cook time: 2 hours and 30 mins total time: 2 hours and 30 mins


2 oranges, sliced
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar


Scrub the oranges, and wash carefully.  Slice into thin slices, as thin as you can.  
Bring the water to a boil and stir in the sugar until dissolved.  Add the orange slices and simmer for an hour or more. 
The orange slices will become translucent.   Remove the orange slices with tongs or you can just drain them,
reserving the syrup and then place the orange slices on a shallow pan sprinkled with sugar, or dip the slices in some sugar and place on parchment paper.  Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, turn the oranges over and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until dry.  The orange slices will become quite firm, and candy like. (if you turn the oven up any higher, the sugar caramelizes and turns the orange slices dark, they still taste good though).

Keep the sugar syrup that the orange slices poached in for other recipes.  
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