3 types of ginger make these easy, dairy free cake bars a ginger punch of flavour!
Cake bars are easy, quick and fun to make as well as being extremely portable and sometimes, even healthy! As Halloween has passed I think it is time to start thinking (slightly) about Christmas and the cold but cozy months of November and December.
Winter is probably my favourite time of the year but I sometimes do long for summer days in the country or on a beautiful beach!
Winter has a ton of excuses to make hot chocolate, comforting cakes and lets you snuggle up with a blanket with your family and watch a movie with the fire on.
And plus, it is nearly ski season!!! That, that makes me happy ☺
The reason why these are cake bars is all to do with the texture. Normal "bars" are fudgy, dense and quite hearty. Cake bars, however, are lighter and have the characteristic of a cake but are less dense than your typical cake. And plus, its the size and the way it is cut to make a bar!
Gingerbread, for me, is all of the festivities in a cake and in a mouthful. When the time mid-November hits, I light cinnamon scented candles, prepare decorations and spend afternoons on long walks on the frosty paths.
Ginger's natural partner in crime is sweet and sticky molasses. Dark, slightly smokey and flavourful, molasses imparts such a crucial flavour which makes this gingerbread a killer cake of yumminess.
This gingerbread is so easy to make but it does require a little bit of patience. First you melt the sugar in a pan with some soy milk or any milks of choice and soya spread or any other fat. I decided to make this cake a dairy free treat as 1) I had a lot of soya milk and spread in the house and 2) lactose intolerance affects 1 in 5 people so making a dairy free cake would be a nice change.
In our house, I eat soy spread on toast, bread etc; I don't eat butter unless it is in a cake or baked goods, EXCEPT when I am in France; real french butter is my downfall, especially on good " pain de campagne", oh my lanta....
Feel free to use any milk that you drink and any solid fat that you eat like butter, you could even try coconut oil!
Melt the sugar, fat, milk and the lovely molasses in a pan until the sugar is dissolved. This is important as you want a smooth consistency and melting activates the rising agents, in this case, baking powder and soda.
Ground ginger, fresh ginger and stem ginger gives these cakes a definite ginger sensation. The ground ginger adds that kick of heat that makes ginger so addictive, fresh lifts the cake, making it taste, you guessed it, fresher! Stem ginger is ginger preserved in a sugar syrup which imparts a mellow flavour.
As well as the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg make this cake so delicious and warming. I used a modest amount of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, but next time, I will definitely bump up the amount for 1/2 a tablespoon.
It is important to bake this cake perfectly; if you overbake it, you will be left with a very dry cake, the complete opposite of what this cake should be! Bake for 20 - 23 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a few damp crumbs attached. This will ensure a moist, fudgy yet light cake.
What makes this cake even more irresistible is the sweet, sticky and very gingery glaze which tops the cake. The glaze adds that extra "oomph" of flavour and imparts extra softness to this divine cake. The syrup of the stem ginger is all that it takes to take this cake to the next level.
The only bad thing about this cake is that you need to let it cool completely before slicing it up into 9 huge pieces. However, if you have the most amazing willpower, cover the cake with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for 3 days after baking. Gingerbread always becomes more intensely flavoured and fudgy if you leave it to mature a little.
Also, this cake will last for up to 10 (yes 10!) days, but I am sure it will be gone way before then! ;D
Gingerbread Molasses Bars
Posted by Eve
Makes 9 bars
- 75g soy spread, such as Pure or butter
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. molasses or black treacle
- 150ml milk, I used sweetened soya milk but you could use any milk you like
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 40g stem ginger, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 215g plain flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 50ml stem ginger syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180ºc/ 160cº fan/ gas mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
- Put the oil, sugar, molasses and milk until the sugar is dissolved boil for 1 minute. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the three types of ginger, egg yolk and sieve in the flour, baking powder and soda . Mix lightly until combined and smooth.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes until golden and the skewer inserted comes out with a few damp crumbs. Spoon over the syrup and leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting into equal sized bars.
The cake should be kept in an air-tight container for up to 10 days.
1 bar, 1/9 of recipe