Whilst my Christmas revolves, primarily, around my family and food, I can’t help but let out a little squeal of excitement when I see the coffee shops doing their festive ranges. One of my favourite Christmas coffees is the Gingerbread Latte, and so I just had to put those flavours into a celebratory cake. The cake is gently warming, and the frosting is perfectly sweet and spiked with a subtle coffee hit.
Ingredients - serves 10-12
For the Cake
- 250g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 225g dark muscovado sugar
- 120g golden syrup
- 50g black treacle
- 6 large eggs
- 340g self raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarb
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
For the Frosting
- 60g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 200g sweetened condensed milk
- 2tsp instant espresso powder
- 500g mascarpone cream cheese
- Icing sugar to dust
- 3 x 20cm sandwich tins, greased with the bases lined
- A long, sharp serrated knife
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Beat the butter and muscovado sugar until smooth and fluffy – ensure you beat all the lumps out of the sugar. Beat in the golden syrup, treacle and eggs until reasonably smooth, then sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarb and spices, and fold in to a smooth batter.
Divide the batter between the cake tins as evenly as possible and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in their tins, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting, whisk together the butter and condensed milk until fairly fluffy – about 2 minutes. Add the espresso powder and whisk in, before whisking in the mascarpone until you have a very smooth, fairly thick frosting.
Once the cakes have cooled, very carefully slice each cake in half so that you have 6 thin slices of cake. The best way is to place a cake onto the counter, one hand flat on top of it. With a long and sharp serrated knife, slice a mark all the way around the edge of the cake as evenly as possible. Use that score mark to guide your knife all the way through the cake, sawing very gently but confidently.
Set one layer of cake to one side for the crumb finish. Take the other five layers and start to assemble. Place one cake onto a plate or cake stand, spread it with frosting and repeat until you have five slices of cake sandwiched together. Chill for 10 minutes and then spread the remaining icing around the entire cake as neatly as possible. I find a small offset/crank palette knife works wonders.
For the crumb finish, crumble the reserved layer of cake into small crumbs and gently press these, with a slightly cupped hand, around the cake. If any frosting peaks through, just cover it with crumbs. Finish with a generous snowfall of icing sugar.