Gingerbread is the Christmas treat of my childhood. Gingerbread is the Christmas smell of my childhood, to think of it. Throughout all these years there was always a time to make and eat gingerbread – either the Swedish crunchy flat biscuits or the German rich and moist ones. To me, it is the smell of ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves that makes it. From the minute you grind your spices in pestle and mortar, through the time the dough gets golden and brown in the oven till you place it proudly on the table and lean over to decorate it – Christmas is in the air.
Guinness seems like a natural addition to gingerbread. Dark, deep and rich in flavour, why wouldn’t you? The recipe below comes from one of my favourite, and most used cookbook – Nigella’s Kitchen and to me combines my Christmas past and my Christmas present. With no further ado …
Guinness Gingerbread Cake
150 g butter, plus some for greasing the tin
300 g golden syrup
200 g dark muscovado sugar
250 ml Guinness
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 ground cloves
300 g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
300 ml sour cream
a baking tin of approx. 23cm x 23cm or a gingerbread man tin
Grease your tin with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Gently melt the butter, syrup, muscovado sugar, Guinness in a pan.
Grind your spices in a pestle and mortar and add to the pan.
Once all is melted take off the heat and add the flour with the bicarbonate soda. It might get lumpy so take your time to whisk it into a smooth mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and the sour cream then beat into the gingerbread mixture whisking again to get a smooth batter.
Pour into the tin and bake for about 45-50 minutes until it has risen and is coming away from the tin sides.
Let the gingerbread cool before decorating.
As with all gingerbread it is best eaten after a day or two … or three.
This year I’m going to serve it with some brandy whipped cream.
Enjoy at Christmas time.