A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: golden syrup

Apple treacle tart

Apple treacle tart

I’m slowly but surely working my way through the fruit that’s weighing down the branches of my apple tree. This recipe only used a few apples but they made all the difference to a classic treacle tart recipe. It basically becomes a toffee apple tart […]

Triple ginger biscuits

Triple ginger biscuits

I’ve adapted these from my recipe for Cornish fairings because to my mind, a fairing is the finest spicy biscuit you can eat and you know, if ain’t broke and all that… I actually made these to use in the base of the rhubarb and […]

Smith Island cake

Smith Island cake

Smith Island cake

I recently discovered that some of the American states have an official ‘state dessert’ so obviously I had to look up what Maryland’s was. Turns out it’s this towering cake made up of thin layers of vanilla sponge and chocolate fudge icing. I was kind of hoping that it would just be chocolate chip cookies.
It (apparently) hails from an area with a lot of Cornish heritage so seeing as I’ve shared a Cornish dessert this month for St Piran’s Day I thought I would share this for Maryland Day. And yes I was a little daunted by it.
This is not a cake to be embarked upon without some serious consideration. Unless you have a huge oven and happen to own 8-10 identical cake tins it’s going to take you quite some time. You’re also going to need a very large mixing bowl for this one and preferably a stand mixer. My poor long-suffering hand mixer really started to struggle as I got to the end of mixing the batter. I will be glad to get back to my Kenwood Chef when I return to the U.K this summer!

Smith Island cake
That’s not to say that this cake isn’t worth the effort. It’s not actually complicated to make and the results are certainly impressive. I was surprised that it wasn’t more sickly (there’s a lot of sugar in this) but I suppose with it being quite tall you’re inclined to only eat a thin sliver.

I realise that the golden syrup in the icing isn’t very American but I find that it gives it much shinier finish than just using sugar.

Ingredients

sponge layers
225g butter (soft)
400g sugar
5 eggs
400g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate fudge icing
100g golden syrup
200g sugar
250ml evaporated milk
100g butter
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Smith Island cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line as many identical 8″ cake tins as you can get your hands on.
Using a very large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it is quite fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, a third at a time, and beat well. Continue to beat at a slow speed and gradually pour in the milk and the vanilla, leaving you with a thick, smooth batter.
Spoon the batter equally into the prepared tins, I used about 150g of batter for each layer. Spread the batter quite thinly and smooth off the tops. If like me you only have a couple of sandwich tins to work with then keep the remaining batter in the fridge whilst the layers are baking. Bake the sponges for 15 minutes. They probably won’t brown but they should be cooked through. Turn each sponge out onto a wire rack to cool whilst you bake the remaining layers. You can stack them up with sheets of grease-proof paper if you start to run out of space.
Once you have 8-10 layers of sponge baked and ready to go, you can get started on the icing.

Smith Island cake
Combine the syrup, evaporated milk and sugar in a large pan and stir together over a moderate heat. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble. Allow it to continue to bubble for a few minutes, like making fudge.
Reduce the heat a little and add the chocolate and butter. Stir them in so that they melt into the mixture and then let it come to boiling point again. Boil the mixture for a few minutes more and then, once it has thickened to the consistency of chocolate sauce remove it from the heat.
Leave the mixture to cool so that it is just warm and then beat it well. It should have thickened and become spreadable by now. Place a layer of the sponge onto a serving plate or cake stand and then spread on a thin layer of icing. continue to build up the layers finishing the cake by spreading the remaining icing over the top and sides. Pop the cake in the fridge so that the icing can set before serving.

Smith Island cake

INDIVIDUAL LEMON AND GINGER SYRUP SPONGES

INDIVIDUAL LEMON AND GINGER SYRUP SPONGES

  Steamed puddings don’t have to be stodgy, heavy, suet based things. These little beauties are soft, light and fluffy. They are also wonderfully comforting on cold winter nights. The chopped ginger sinks down through the batter to mingle with the syrup and create a […]

TREACLE STARS

TREACLE STARS

Treacle tart is one of my friends favourites and I made these when she came to stay recently. I think it’s probably fairly unique to Great Britain but for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a little like Canadian butter tart or […]

SPICED CHOCOLATE CAKE

SPICED CHOCOLATE CAKE

Mr Colonial Cravings has requested a cake. He often does. This one is for an afternoon of seasonal festivities at work so who am I to deny him?

Spiced chocolate cake

I’ve decided to stay away from exclusively British treats and go for something with more universal appeal. Chocolate.
To turn a bog standard chocolate cake into something a bit more festive I’ve decided to give it lots of warming, wintry, spicy flavours and a slightly more dense, moist, almost sticky texture. I was aiming for a chocolate version of Jamaican ginger cake.
I’ve made it in a similar way to brownies, melting the wet ingredients together and then adding in the dry ingredients. Using brown sugar rather refined white sugar really helps with the texture and complements the spices well. The little nuggets of crystalised ginger are so much nicer than simply using ground ginger.
The rum is optional, I didn’t include it in the version for my husbands work (obviously) and just added a tablespoon of water after mixing in the dry ingredients.
You don’t have use a bundt tin for this. I’ve also baked it using diddy little pudding basins, reducing the cooking time to 25 minutes.

Spiced chocolate cake

Ingredients

Sponge
175g butter (plus extra for greasing)
100g dark chocolate (chopped)
100g dark soft brown sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp rum (optional)
4 eggs
60g crystalised ginger
25g cocoa powder
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
pinch of seasalt

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Ganache
100g good quality dark chocolate
100g double cream
small knob of butter
1 tbsp rum (optional)

icing sugar/festive sprinkles to decorate

Pre-heat your oven to 160°c.
Melt the butter, along with a little extra in a large saucepan. Brush the inside of your bundt tin really thoroughly with some of this.
Add the chocolate, both sugars, syrup and the rum (if using) to the butter and melt together over a very low heat. Once it’s all amalgamated set it to one side to cool a little.
Finely chop the ginger and stir this and the salt through the mixture.
Beat the eggs and then mix them into the cooled chocolate mix. Make sure it’s all really well combined.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Stir through the ground spices.
Add the dry ingredients, in two batches, to the wet ingredients, mixing it together really well.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for around about 1 hour. Check that it is cooked all the way through by poking a skewer into the cake and ensuring that it comes out clean.
Once baked, leave the cake in the tin to cool for a bit before turning it out onto a wire rack. I find this helps to encourage it to leave all the little nooks and crannies of the bundt tin cleanly.

Spiced chocolate cake

To make the ganache simply melt together the chocolate and cream (and rum, if using) over the lowest heat possible in a small saucepan. Once melted beat through a small amount of butter, this will give it a nice glossy finish. Let this cool and thicken up a bit before pouring over the top of the cake and sprinkling on any additional decoration.

I may never make a traditional Christmas cake again!

CORNISH FAIRINGS

CORNISH FAIRINGS

It is Mr Colonial Cravings turn to provide his contribution to his offices ‘cookie-club’. Obviously when I say it is his turn I mean that it is my turn, and I don’t mind in the slightest. Any excuse for a big batch of biscuit making. […]