Seasonal or not

I realise that it's not the time really for Gingerbread. It is a Christmas time treat and clearly I don't stick to conventions. I am the sort who makes Yule Log for a Birthday cake.

Gingerbread is historic. I came across Gingerbread for the first time every only when I started reading food books. My possible recollection of Gingerbread from pop culture is the giant Gingerbread Man from the movie Shrek. I keep insisting that I am no fan of spiced cakes(and I keep proving myself wrong) so I never thought I'd one day be hankering to make Gingerbread at home. But ever since I saw Gingerbread houses made by Rachel Allen and then on Masterchef AU, they stuck in my head. The recipes always seemed very complicated and I kept postponing it until the day I was gifted a box mix (wait, what? A box mix?!) of Gingerbread. (Hey, it was a good, not the mass manufactured one! Or so I like to believe)

Gingerbread has it's origins in medieval Europe and it was a popular (actually, it still is) treat at fairs and festivalsLebukuchen is possibly the German form of the Gingerbread we know. The Oxford Companion to Food says that gingerbread varies considerably in texture and shape. So the gingerbread men and Gingerbread cake are the same thing; it probably depends on what you want to make and what recipe you follow! The first Gingerbreads were made using a mixture of breadcrumbs, honey, molasses, ginger - then pressed into a square or other shapes and decorated. Flour replaced the breadcrumbs somewhere in the 16th or 17th century, and the 'bread' in the name probably comes from the texture of the confection (since there's no yeast involved)!


This is something you can make so easily, you may want to find excuses to make it. It's good enough to convert people like me, who are not too fond of spiced cakes, to people who would go to lengths to try and make the cake at home.

Gingerbread Cake
Adapted from the Shirly O. Corriher's Bakewise (Serious Stuff Gingerbread)

Note: I have made the full recipe this time (woah, really!) but I have adapted it to what I could get locally. I admit, I purchased whole all spice at Walmart, but you can still get serious gingerbread with a few adjustments! Instead of Molasses, use Kakvi (liquid jaggery). It works just as well. If you need further convincing, read Vikram Doctor's take on it). Instead of all spice, you can use a mixture of spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps. ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground all spice
1/2 cup brown sugar/demerrara sugar
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses or 'Kakvi' (liquid organic jaggery)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C.

2. Directly in your cake tin (or in a separate bowl) sift in the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sugar and stir the mixture together. Make three medium wells in the mixture. Pour the vinegar in one, vanilla extract into the second and oil into the third. If it overflows, that's OK. Pour the water on top and the molasses and stir the batter until it comes together.

3. Place the cake tin (transfer batter into cake tin, if you made it separately) in the oven and bake until done, about 25-30 minutes. Cool and serve directly from the pan!



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