way too early for christmas

yesterday afternoon, i tweeted:

just got way too much joy out of shopping in a hyuuuuge supermarket. i was like elf in a revolving door.

elf is the best christmas movie, after a christmas story, charlie brown, and the animated grinch movies of course. but i guess this scene makes more sense now that christmas is practically everywhere already. we went to a massive sainsbury's yesterday for the first time (hence my elf-like glee) and they already had an ENTIRE AISLE devoted to mince pies, christmas cakes, christmas puddings, etc etc etc. i had to remind myself what month it was before freaking out that i wasn't prepared.

but with the holiday spirit in mind, we decided to make gingerbread. i wanted to bake something from my new bakin' without eggs cookbook. phil wanted gingerbread. problem solved: i chose the 'gingerbread better-than-boxed squares' recipe, with slight modifications.

gingerbread cake

a yummy and gooey round cake that is, indeed, very christmassy.


the particulars:

  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour (regular flour with baking soda/powder mixed in)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup treacle/molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • powdered sugar (to dust)
  1. preheat oven to 325F (gas mark 4). grease an 8-inch round cake tin.
  2. in a large bowl, sieve in and combine flour and spices. set aside.
  3. in a small bowl, beat veg shortening and sugar until fluffy. add molasses and vanilla. stir in boiling water.
  4. add the molasses mixture to the flour and, with a wooden spoon, mix until completely smooth.
  5. pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. cool completely in pan approximately 20 minutes before cutting. dust with powdered sugar and serve.

lessons learned: greaseproof paper does not work with this sticky gooey cake. and the batter is very liquidy so baking times may vary -- for us, it took a lot longer than the original recipe called for (25 mins).