Friday, 19 October 2012

Levi Root's Sticky ginger and Guinness cake with ginger fudge icing.

It was my grandad's birthday a few days ago so what better way to say happy birthday then making a   cake. Now, I wanted to make something that would remind my grandad of Jamaica, as he was born there, but with a modern twist. My "modern twist" to a Jamaican cake is lavishing the cake with butter icing, my favourite! Jamaica is known for it's ginger cake, so I thought making a ginger cake would be the perfect cake to make. I, of course, went to my two Caribbean books "Levi Root's Caribbean Food Made Easy and Reggae Reggae cookbook". Only Caribbean Food Made Easy had a recipe for ginger cake "sticky ginger cake with lime icing", but with no picture. Now I know what a ginger cake looks like, I'm sure everyone does, but I wanted a picture for some inspiration, at least for the icing. So, I had a flick through my BBC Cakes and Bakes and found a lovely picture for ginger fudge icing.
I also know my grandad likes Guinness so I researched online to see whether I could combine the ginger and Guinness ....... and of course I can!. I found this recipe as inspiration which had  a combination of the ginger and Guinness and I though this must work. I am not one for recipe building or testing, I usually just follow the recipe to the latter. I used my internet research as inspiration and added 250ml of guinness to my ginger cake.
Here is how my cake turned out:
Ginger and Guinness cake

Guinness and ginger cake
Slice of ginger cake
This is a really simple cake, which has a spicy twang. You can really taste the flavours of the ginger and the Guinness and I think the Guinness beautifully complements the ginger cake. I followed the recipe for the icing to the latter, but the ginger did not really come through. However, most importantly, my grandad enjoyed the cake and that's what's most important, not my culinary preferences.
I first started by making the treacle:
 Once melted I let the mixture cool:
I then made a well and combined the beaten eggs with flour:

I then in-cooperated the wet ingredients to the dry and thoroughly combined and added 200ml of Guinness:
Placed in my cake tin:

Once baked, I left the ginger and Guinness cake to cool and got on with the butter icing.

Recipe for sticky ginger Guinness cake (adapted from Levi Roots Caribbean Food Made Easy).
Serves 8-10
155g butter, plus extra for greasing
115g soft dark brown sugar
115g treacle
55g preserved stem ginger, chopped
225g plain flour, sifted (I used self-raising flour)
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 large free range eggs
2-3 tbsp milk
200ml Guinness

For the ginger fudge icing (from BBC Cakes and Bakes)
4 tbsp ginger syrup, drained from the jar
300g icing sugar
140g unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon juice

1) Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Butter and base line a 18cm (7inch) cake tin. Melt the butter, sugar and treacle into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil. When it's all melted and well combined, leave to cool a little and add the stem ginger.
2) Put the flour and ground ginger into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the beaten eggs and treacle mixture into the well and, using a wooden spoon, gradually mix the dry ingredients into the the wet ones (At this point, add the 200 ml of Guinness and the milk). Be careful to get a smooth batter.
3) Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. When cooked, a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Don't open the oven door during cooking or the cake will sink a little.
4) Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the tin for 15 minutes or so then turn it out to a wire rack to cool.

For the icing
5) Beat together the icing sugar, butter, lemon juice and the remaining ginger syrup, and spread over the cake.
I am entering this cake into the Baking with Spirit a monthly blogging challenge that is organised by Cake of the Week and invited fellow bloggers to make a cake with a chosen alcoholic ingredient. This month the challenge was using beer, and as my cake had Guinness this fulfils the challenge.



  1. I love ginger cake - I bet the guinness really enhances the flavour. The fudge icing on top must go really well with the fudgy sponge, too. Thanks for entering Baking With Spirit!

  2. Lucky grandpa! What a fabulously dark and rich cake. I've never made guinuess cake before but you've inspired me to give it a go. Yummy!

  3. I love this look awesome and delicious!


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