Tag Archives: brown sugar

Apple and Ginger Cakes with Lemon Icing

24 Jan

As soon as I got my baking book, I knew I would have to make these.  However, the long list of ingredients put me off for a while. This weekend, the siren song of Tate and Lyle’s Golden Syrup was too strong, and I stickily succumbed.

This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking.

Ingredients:

250g butter, softened

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup golden syrup

2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup grated apple (1 medium apple)

2/3 cup hot water

For the icing

2 cups icing sugar

2 tsp butter, softened

1/3 cup lemon juice

Method (makes 12):

1. Preheat oven to 180 oC. Grease two large 6-hole muffin pans.

2. Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beat until well combined between additions. Stir in syrup.

3. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, then apple and water.

4. Divide mixture among pans.

5. Bake about 25 minutes. Stand cakes in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make icing by sifting icing sugar into medium heatproof bowl; stir in butter and juice to form a paste. Place bowl over small saucepan of simmering water; stir until icing is a pouring consistency.

Adjustments:

I declared the recipe halved, and lo, it was.

Wadda ladda baddah.

I finally got my hands on some genuine-goodtime-family-fun brown sugar (so long demerara!). I was surprised at how damp it seemed – like wet sand.

Creaming the butter and sugar. It smells so. good.

But looks like a sinus infection.

Srp. Whenever I see a lion, I think of this one:

He’s the Maiwand Lion, and is actually a war memorial in Reading. I’ve never been to Reading, and the only reason I know about the lion is because it’s an example of doing it wrong.

Look at the lion’s gait. Now imagine a lion actually walking like that. He’d look ridiculous. The sculptor, George Blackwell Simonds, was rumoured to have committed suicide when some wag was kind enough to point it out.

EDIT: The infinite wisdom of Wikipedia tells me I’m wrong!

Rumours persist that Simonds committed suicide on learning that the lion’s gait was incorrectly that of a domestic cat. In fact, he made careful observations on lions and the stance was anatomically correct despite various African ex-pats disagreeing. He also lived for another 43 years, enjoying continuing success as a sculptor going on to create a statue of Queen Victoria (1887) and a statue of George Palmer (1891).

So there we go. I should probably stop telling that story.

It’s a little bit like a tin of wood varnish.

In fact, sorry to go on about this Golden Syrup, but it’s all rather interesting. Those eagle-eyed among you will notice that the logo on the tin looks a lot like a dead lion, surrounded by flies. Delicious. It is a dead lion, but it’s actually surrounded by a swarm of bees. And it’s from The Bible! (via Wikipedia):

In the Book of Judges, Chapter 14, Samson was travelling to the land of the Philistines in search of a wife. During the journey he killed a lion, and on his return past the same spot he noticed that a swarm of bees had formed a comb of honey in the carcass. Samson later turned this into a riddle at a wedding: “Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” The last seven words still appear on tins of Golden Syrup. Abraham Lyle was a deeply religious man and may have intended to refer to the strength of the company or to the strength of the tin.

Brilliant.

If this isn’t what Conrad meant by The Heart of Darkness, then I radically misunderstood the book.

Sieving the dry ingredients (including yummy ginger) into the wet mixture.

Grating an apple is not like grating a carrot. For one, it’s a lot jucier. For two, it goes everywhere – including your eyes. Perhaps that’s where the expression “apple of my eye” comes from?

One of your five-a-day. Probably.

I kept filling cases 2/3 full until I ran out of mixture. I had enough for 9 in total.

I was a bit slapdash putting the mixture into the cases – hence the splashes (slap+dash).

It smells incredible when it comes out of the oven.

Something went a bit wrong with the glace icing. I don’t think I used enough icing sugar – a whole cup seemed excessive. Also, I didn’t heat it very much, so it’s very runny. Due to the domed shape of the cake, it runs off a little. Still tastes good though.

Paper case removed – it looks a whole lot better.

VERDICT:

Taste:

Spicy and sweet. The tangy lemon icing is a nice contrast to the richer ginger flavour. The cake is spongy and light, but has a nice deep scent, and the apple adds texture.

Recipe cons:

It involves a lot of ingredients. Though that’s not totally a bad thing – I now have the equipment to make it again.

Recipe pros:

The flavours all work very well together. Plus, Golden Syrup. Huzzah!

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