My friend @agentK is visiting for work this week, so @BiscottiFairy had to do some baking to welcome him to the Gold Coast. On today's agenda was a batch of Spotty Ginger Buttermilk Cakes. Tomorrow will be Apple and Ginger Biscuits. When I chose the two recipes I didn't connect that they both feature ginger. Oh well, I like ginger!
Spotty Ginger Buttermilk Cakes
Makes 9 (but doubled to make 18 fine)
From Classic Cupcakes, in The Australian Women's Weekly collection
You will need: a 12-hole (1/3C) muffin pan; paper cases; an 8cm cookie cutter; and a 2cm cookie cutter.
1/2C firmly packed light brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2C plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2C self-raising flour
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
90g butter, softened
1tbsp golden syrup or treacle (I used treacle)
250g ready-made white icing
yellow food colouring
1/3C apricot jam, warmed and strained (I didn't strain)
Preheat oven to 170C. Line 9 holes of the muffin pan with paper cases.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl (I sifted the sugar too), add remaining ingredients; beat mixture with electric mixer on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium; beat until mixture has changed to a paler colour.
Drop 1/4 cups of mixture into paper cases (don't worry about smoothing - they will level as they cook). Bake about 35 minutes. Stand cakes in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.
Divide ready-made white icing in half. Tint one portion yellow (you only need a few drops), leave remaining portion white. Roll each colour, one at a time, between sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using 2cm cutter, cut 2cm rounds, quite close together, from both pieces of icing. Place white rounds in the wholes left in the yellow icing, and the yellow rounds in the holes left in the white icing. Re-roll both pieces of icing between sheets of baking paper to ensure the rounds are in place.
Brush cold cakes with a little jam. Using 8cm cutter, cut rounds from each piece of icing; position rounds on cakes.
I couldn't find a tiny 2cm cutter anywhere. I have set of round cutters, but the smallest was 4cm. In the end, I used the base of a piping bag nozzle, which worked just fine. Once I'd rolled out the two sheets of icing, I only had enough to cut about 13 rounds before I had to re-roll the remaining icing - but to keep the spots, I'd have had to painstakingly remove each one and then do the process again. That was far too much work, so I just kneaded all the remaining icing together until it was evenly yellow, and iced the remaining cakes with plain yellow icing.
The cakes were a tiny bit dry and could probably have done with slightly less cooking time. They rose nicely but flatly so I didn't have to worry about levelling them or anything - I could just ice them. If you don't have apricot jam to stick the icing to the cakes you could use another mild flavour (marmalade perhaps), or just make a sugar syrup (which is what the icing packet recommended).