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Monday, October 28, 2013

Marshmallow and ginger cake...

I have managed to get so behind with my little blog! I have lots of craft projects to share with you but I just can't seem to find the time at the moment to sit down and write a post! Life feels a good sort of busy though, I have just started to attend some lectures run by my husband's college so much of the time I would usually set aside for blogging is currently spent reading for those instead. So bear with me, things might be a little quieter around here for a while...or, more likely, my house will be neglected so that I can do the much more fun task of blogging instead of, say, the washing up :)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure you didn't click on 'marshmallow and ginger cake' to hear all about my let's talk cake.

I went round to a friend's last week to watch the final of Great British Bake Off. I have a confession, this is the first bake off that I have watched. I am so ridiculously bad at following a series but I finally managed this year! Of course, it would be completely wrong to watch the final without eating cake...right? I had seen this gorgeous recipe in my latest Good Food Magazine which I knew would be perfect for such an occasion :)

My photo really doesn't do it justice, the marshmallow icing in the magazine has been toasted with a blowtorch has sparklers coming out of it - so amazing! I searched for an online version of it but there isn't one on their website so you'll have to make to with the photo of my version!

The only significant changes I made to the recipe was to make the butter icing less gingery by excluding the stem ginger and syrup that they recommended. It resulted in a lightly spiced sponge and icing balanced with the sweetness of the marshmallow icing (which is really meringue not marshmallow)'s a keeper for me!

Toasted Marshmallow and Ginger Cake (from Good Food magazine Nov 2013)

For the cake:
100g butter or margarine
100g soft dark brown sugar
100g black treacle
140g golden syrup
225g plain four
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp salt
125ml whole milk (I used semi-skimmed)
3 medium egg yolks (keep the egg whites for the icing), whisked.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 2lb loaf tin.

1. Melt the butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in a saucepan, whisking continually until smooth. This will only take a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

2. Mix the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and salt together into a bowl. Pour in the warm syrup mixture, milk and the egg yolks, whisking until well combined and smooth.

3. Pour into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

4. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then use a sharp knife to slice of the top (to give an even surface) and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the ginger butter icing:
140g butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
1/2tsp ground ginger
(optional, add 4 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped, and 1tbsp ginger syrup to stay true to the original recipe)

1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and beat until smooth.

For the marshmallow icing:
3 egg whites
175g caster sugar

1. Put the egg whites, sugar, 1tbsp water and a pinch of salt into a heatproof bowl. Place this over a pan of boiling water (keeping the base of the bowl away from the water). Whisk (I suggest an electric whisk to save your wrists!) together over the heat for about 4 minutes or until the meringue reaches the ribbon stage - this is where the whisk will leave a trail that remains visible for at least 3 seconds.
2. Take off the heat and continue to whisk for a further 3 - 4 minutes until the icing has cooled slightly and stiffened.
3. Transfer 1/3 of the icing to a piping bag fitter with a large round nozzle.

To assemble:
Slice the cake into 3 layers (lengthways). Using the widest layer as the base, reassemble the cake spreading the buttercream evenly between the layers.
Next cover the outside of the cake with a layer of marshmallow icing. You can use a palette knife to draw vertical lines up the cake sides.
Take the piping bag and pipe spikes of meringue over the top of the cake.
At this point, if you have a cook's blowtorch, you can lightly toast the meringue - sadly I don't have one of these yet!

It went down a treat :) What did everyone think of the final? I was cheering on Frances so I was happy that she won! They were all so good but her creations were always just so beautiful, and she seemed really down to earth...I guess she proved Paul wrong with the whole boring business of 'style over substance' :)

Happy Monday! Stay safe if the storm reaches you.

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