It finally happened! I made a cake for The Cake Slice Bakers that was just... meh. I mean, it was bound to happen eventually, right? The worst part is that it is probably mostly my own darn fault. But such is life. I was REALLY tempted to make one of the other cakes, or even make this one again so I could give you a more glowing review today. Then I got busy with Jax's Pirate Party and just life in general and I decided that in real life not everything knocks your socks off anyway and it is ok to post that I didn't love something every once in a while.
I would almost go so far as to call this a failure, but every last crumb was eaten. We were heading to my father-in-law's for dinner and I was the dessert committee (funny how that happens, I have no idea why I am usually on desserts?!) Anyway, I have been wanting a good excuse to make a ding dong cake from the family cookbook for a while now. So, I knew this would be the perfect chance. However, my father-in-law doesn't really like chocolate all that much.
Maybe he's not human?!
Who knows?! All I know, is it means more chocolate for me, so I won't complain.
What he does like is spiced desserts. Pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling? All about them! Gingerbread? He loves it! So when I remembered there was a gingerbread loaf in the choices for this month's bake, I knew I had to make it. This orange and honey loaf gets some of it's flavor from marmalade. I had a jar in the fridge from some marinated oranges I made for Easter, and I honestly wasn't sure what to do with the rest of it. It seemed like a perfect answer to all of my problems.
The idea sounded delicious, and really it wasn't bad. My loaf was a bit dry and a tad overbrowned. This was probably completely my own doing. Maida suggested if the loaf browned too quickly you should tent it with foil. I completely forgot about that tidbit as I ran around the kitchen getting the other cake finished. It was also a bit overcooked, which is not something I normally have to worry about either. My oven tends to run a bit cool, so I normally end up baking to the longer end of a suggested window (or even a couple of minutes more) in order to bake something through. So I was a bit surprised that this one was overdone without any delay in removing it from the oven.
I could tell by looking at it that it was going to need a little help. So, I caramlized a little orange juice and honey, poked a few holes in the top of the loaf and drizzled it over. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. My father-in-law volunteered to keep whatever we didn't want to take home, so it certainly wasn't bad. It just wasn't great and at this stage in the game I am sort of expecting great.
Spoiled brat, that's me!
Anyway, I still love the idea of a orange and honey flavored gingerbread and I really like the milder nature of this loaf. It is a nice change from the darker molasses gingerbreads I am used to. Maybe next time!
Marmalade Gingerbread Loaf
from Maida Heatter's Cakes
from Maida Heatter's Cakes
Makes 1 9" loaf
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
zest of one orange (Maida used the zest of 2 large lemons)
1 T rum
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 cup sweet orange marmalade
My "fix-it" orange glaze that would be great even if it doesn't need fixing:
juice from 1 orange
2 T honey
1 T sugar
1 T butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x5" loaf pan.
- Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together zest and rum and set aside.
- Cream your butter until smooth. Add honey and marmalade, beating until combined.
- Mix in half of the dry ingredients. Then add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Add remainder of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Fold in rum and zest.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Be sure to start checking loaf about half way through to make sure it isn't over browning. Don't make my mistakes!
- Cool in pan for about 10 minutes then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
- For optional glaze: In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together orange juice, honey and sugar. Allow to cook without stirring until it begins to take on a slightly darker amber color. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Using a toothpick, poke a few holes over the top of your loaf. Slowly drizzle hot glaze over loaf.
And now to see what the other bakers made!