Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hey all! Just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! We are doing our usual Christmas rounds - to Brad's dad's last night for a meal and opening of some gifts and then to his sister's this afternoon for the big turkey dinner. It's been very cold here the last few days (highs of only minus 7 C or so and windy). My sister who's living in Saudie Arabia called early this morning (8:30 or so), when I was just getting up. She was brimming with the news that her middle son has finally asked his long time girlfriend to become his wife! That and the fact that her husband has agreed that she can come to Miami with me in February! I'm not sure I sounded overly enthused on the phone as, like I say, I was JUST getting up, had to do the usual morning things (not to put to fine a point on it), was still kind of groggy, and then looked down to see a pile of dog puke on the bedroom floor. Ugh. I can think of better ways to start off Christmas morning! However, I tried to spin it as best I could given the circumstances, as I knew sis was very excited on both counts. It will definitely be fun to her along in South Beach! We'll have a blast! And we are also excited that her son is finally tieing the knot!

That said, not much else is new. I've been doing a lot of Christmas baking - gingerbread cake, pies, and a Danish spice cake, which I've made for a long time now around this time of year. As our good friend Shaun wants the recipe, I'll give it to you all here:

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar


1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup orange marmalade

Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, stir together syrup, sugar, and buttermilk. In a bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda & baking powder. Stir flour mixture into syrup mixture and pour into prepared pan.
Bake cake in middle of oven for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F. and bake cake for 45 minutes more, or until it begins to brown and crack. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool cake completely on rack.

For the Filling:
In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

For the glaze:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with water. Add butter one tablespoon at a time and whisk until well combined.

Assemble cake:

Gentle remove cake from bottom of pan and transfer to a plate. Using a long serrated knife, halve cake horizontally, putting top half on a sheet of wax paper, cut side up. Spread filling on bottom cut half and spread marmalade on top cut half. Reassemble cake and spread glaze over it, letting excess drip down sides. Chill cake until ready to serve. Serve at room temperatire.

I used red currant jam instead of the marmalade as it contains no citric acid, which Brad can't eat. I also used a whole Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate bar instead of the chocolate chips. It give a very nice orange flavour. I also added a teaspoon of cardamom with the other spices.

A very yummy wintertime cake. Enjoy! The recipe is from Gourmet Magazine, March 1994.

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