Gingerbread is one of those cakes that always underwhelms me no matter how good it is. Despite having tasted many fantastic home-baked and bought varieties, I would never choose a slice of gingerbread over something else.
Take that warm, sexy, earthy ginger and hurl it into bed with a generous fistful of rich dark chocolate. Throw over a blanket of orange and cardamom infused white chocolate ganache, dust with a little edible gold dust and some more chocolate and you’ve got the most beautiful, statuesque and sticky confection imaginable.
This is the kind of cake you want to eat slowly, with long pauses, with a fine cup of tea … the lamps on, the dark night pressing against the curtains and Mad Men on the screen. Autumn nights were made for this. Oh, and don’t feel bad about not sharing it. Especially if your other half has recently told you he has ‘gone off rich chocolately things’. Not a problem, my love – I can cope with this one on my own …
Dark Chocolate Ginger Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Orange Cardamom Ganache
For the cake:
175g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp caster sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp warm water
250 ml milk
275g plain flour
200g dark chocolate chips or finely chopped good quality dark chocolate
For the ganache:
150g best quality white chocolate
Grated zest of ½ an orange
¼ tsp ground cardamom
150ml double cream
Grease a bundt tin with butter or cake release spray.
In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the tin and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that’s the way you want it. Check it after 50 minutes and keep checking every 10 minutes until it’s done (timings always vary so much depending on your oven). This took 45 minutes in one oven and the full 1 hour 15 in another oven so just keep a close eye on it.
Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin.
Once cool, make the ganache.
Chop the white chocolate very finely and put in a bowl. Put the double cream, orange zest and cardamom in a small pan and very slowly bring to the boil. Pour the mixture through a sieve over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute then beat it well until smooth and immediately pour it over the cake before it cools. Leave to set.
I sprinkled my ganache with edible gold dust (available from most large supermarkets in the UK or online) and some grated dark chocolate as well but use anything you fancy. Some chopped up crystallised ginger would be beautiful too.
This cake is so moist it will keep well in an airtight container for up to one week unfrosted but because of the cream in the ganache, once frosted it needs to be kept in the fridge and should really be eaten within four days.