Gingerbread Christmas Cake By Kirsten Tibballs

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Quantity: 1 cake

Time: 70 minutes

Gingerbread

Makes 15 biscuits

580 g      Plain Flour
170 g      Caster Sugar
20 g         Gingerbread Spice
270 ml Honey
50 g         Unsalted Butter, softened
10 g         Bicarbonate of Soda
90 ml     Hot Water
QS            Plain Flour, for dusting

  1. Mix the flour, caster sugar, gingerbread spice, honey and butter in the bowl of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and add it to the mixture.
  3. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and it comes together as dough.
  4. Lightly dust the bench with flour.
  5. Remove the dough from the stand mixer and roll out to approximately 4mm thickness on the floured surface.
  6. Cut the gingerbread into two different sized shapes measuring 18 cm x 6 cm and 18 cm x 4 cm (see diagram below).
  7. Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Place the gingerbread shapes on top of the lined tray and bake at 170°C for 7-8 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool before decorating.

Royal Icing

300 g      Pure Icing Sugar

100 g      Egg Whites

  1. Sieve the icing sugar.
  2. Place the egg whites into a bowl and mix the sieved icing sugar through. If necessary, you can adjust the icing by adding more egg whites or icing sugar until you achieve a firm piping consistency. Please note, royal icing sets very hard very quickly, so it is important to keep it covered with plastic wrap touching the surface of the icing.
  3. Prepare a paper piping cone or a zip lock bag and cut a very small tip off the end.
  4. Place the icing into the cone or the bag and pipe it onto the biscuits in an assortment of window and door shapes.
  5. Allow to set.

 Gingerbread Sponge

QS Vegetable Oil, for greasing
150ml Full Cream Milk
60g Black Treacle or Dark Golden Syrup
375g Plain Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 ½ teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
375g Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
225g Vegetable Oil
300ml Buttermilk
3 Whole Eggs
40ml Rum
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Method

  1. Prepare two 20 cm cake tins by lightly greasing them with oil. Line the bottom and sides of the tins with baking paper. If the tins are any lower than 4cm, when you line the sides with baking paper ensure that it sits slightly higher than the side of the tin.
  2. Heat the milk and treacle in a saucepan on a low heat and stir until combined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C for a fan forced oven or 180°C for a standard oven.
  4. Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, including the sugar.
  5. Combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, rum and vanilla in the bowl of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  6. Add in the milk and treacle and continue to mix well.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  8. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. The sponge will be ready when you insert a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean.
  9. Allow the sponges to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. Unmould them onto a wire rack to cool further. Once cooled, you can wrap the sponges in plastic wrap and store them for up to 3 days in the fridge or for up to 6 weeks in the freezer.

Mascarpone Honey Filling

 500g Mascarpone

3 tablespoons Honey

  1. Using a spatula, mix the mascarpone and honey together in a bowl until fully combined. Set aside in the fridge.

Assembly

  1. Place one layer of sponge onto a display plate.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the mascarpone honey filling on top of the sponge. Place a second layer of sponge on top and gently press it down.
  3. Use a flat palette knife or a spoon to spread the remaining mascarpone honey filling on the top and sides of the sponge.
  4. If the filling is too soft, place the cakes in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes before you assemble the gingerbread windows and doors. Randomly place the different sized gingerbread biscuits around the cake – the filling will enable them to stick to the cake.

Swiss Meringue

405g Caster Sugar

278g Egg Whites

  1. Place the sugar onto a lined baking tray and heat in the oven to 60°C for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and pour the sugar on top. Whisk together until it reaches a medium to firm peak with a shiny surface.
  3. Use a spatula to place the meringue on top of the finished cake to create a snow-like effect.

 

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