Gingerbread latte cake
Serves 16 | prep 1 hr | total time
Gingerbread latte cakeSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Serves 16 | prep 1 hr | total time
Spectacular and very, very special, this showstopper is flavoured with fragrant spices and a gentle hint of coffee
Nutritional information (per serving)
For the cakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 200ml milk
- 350g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 50g ground almonds
- 300g light muscovado or soft brown sugar
- 200g soft unsalted butter, diced
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 6 pieces stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
For the coffee syrup
- 3 tbsp instant coffee
- 75g caster sugar
For the icing
- 250g very soft unsalted butter
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup from the jar
- 1 x 280g tub full fat soft cheese, at room temperature
To decorate, optional
- 1 x 200g bar Belgian white chocolate, chopped
- 1 x tube of green food colouring gel or paste (plus yellow and black if you want to create tones of green)
- 18-20 Quality Street Matchmakers Cool Mint
- Assorted sprinkles
- 1 x gold/silver edible dusting spray
- a sprinkle of desiccated coconut
Make the sponges the day before assembling, cool and chill (or freeze for up to 1 month). The iced cake will keep for 2 days in an airtight container once cut.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm sponge tins. Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside to sour (it will thicken and curdle).
- Sift the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large mixing bowl). Mix in the ground almonds and sugar. Add the butter and mix (or rub in) until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the black treacle, soured milk, and chopped stem ginger.
- Divide the mixture equally between the 2tins, level the tops and bake for 40-45 minutes until risen, springy and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
- Meanwhile, make the coffee syrup by combining the coffee and sugar in a bowl and stirring in 5 tablespoons boiling water until everything has dissolved. Drizzle or brush the coffee syrup evenly over both cakes. Leave to cool completely in their tins, then chill in the fridge, to make them easier to slice later.
- For the icing, first cream the butter with the ground ginger until it is really soft and creamy. Add the icing sugar, a quarter at a time, with the mixture on slow. Once the icing is fluffy and pale, mix in the vanilla and ginger syrup, followed by the soft cheese and beat again until smooth. Chill until ready to ice, so that it firms up to a spreadable consistency.
- For the chocolate trees, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and leave undisturbed until it has completely melted. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth, then tint it your desired shade (or shades) of green. Add a little black as well as green for a darker tone, or yellow for lighter green. Transfer to disposable piping bag(s).
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and space out the Matchmakers to act as tree trunks, cut to different lengths. Snip a small hole from the end of the piping bag, and, starting from the top of each trunk, pipe the chocolate back and forth in a zigzag movement, forming a widening triangle. Before the chocolate sets, add sprinkles of your choice, and a dusting of edible spray. Pop in the freezer to set, then layer up in a lidded box, with baking paper in between until needed. Keep frozen or chilled until ready to use.
- To assemble the cake, first carefully slice each cake into 2 thinner layers. Use some of the buttercream to sandwich all 4 layers together in a tall stack, either on a cake board, or, ideally, using an icing turntable for ease. Spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the sides of the cake, then the top, using a large palette knife or icing scraper to smooth the surface and remove the excess. This is the ‘crumb coat’ – to help capture loose crumbs and stop them spoiling the outer layer of icing. Chill the cake (and the rest of the icing), for 30 minutes until the crumb coat has set.
- Use most of the rest of the icing to coat the sides and top of the cake with a thicker layer, and smooth off, then spread the final bit of icing on top in swoops and swirls to represent snowdrifts. Scatter with desiccated coconut if using. Chill for another 30 minutes at least. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Add the Christmas trees just before serving.