Tuesday 20 November 2012

The Cake Slice November 2012: Shoo Fly Cake

This month’s Cake Slice bake marks the start of our new cake book, that as a group we will be baking from for the next 12 months. I can now reveal that the book is…Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson. It’s got a great variety of different cakes to choose form: cupcakes, angel food cakes, bundts and layered cakes.

The books début cake is an intriguingly named Shoo-Fly Cake. It’s a sticky molasses spice cake with a crumb topping. According to the book, it originated in Pennsylvania and was so named due to the cakes sticky top surface which attracted flies, which had to be shooed away!

I used black treacle in my cake which lent a gorgeous deep dark colour and heady aroma. Whenever I smell molasses or treacle it always makes me think of sticky gingerbreads, and indeed this cake does contain some ground ginger. The most surprising ingredient in this cake is a cup of strong brewed coffee. This not only adds a further richness to the cakes mysterious smoky bitter flavour but also enhances the dark inky blackness of the batter.

Before baking the cake is topped with a simple crumb mixture. Strangely, during baking my cake swallowed half the crumb topping on one side of my cake. I’m not sure why this happened on only one side but it resulted in a sort of yin and yang symbol on top, quite fitting I though, a contrast between the dark cake and the lighter crumb topping.

The cake is meant to be eaten warm and it was indeed fabulous like this. Soft, moist and intensely flavoured. On cooling I assumed the cake would be more like a sticky gingerbread, but I found it to be disappointingly dry. When reheated briefly in the microwave it went back to being soft and light, but I wouldn’t recommend eating it cold. I even tried leaving it for 2 days to see if the stickiness would develop, but it only got drier, which was disappointing. However, as the recipe specifies to eat it warm, I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

I also found the crumb topping to be a bit odd. When eaten warm it turned soft and was a bit pointless and when eaten cold, it simply crumbled and fell off the cake. All in all I enjoyed the flavour of this cake, but I probably wouldn’t make it again. I have another gingerbread recipe I much prefer, that tastes delicious eaten hot or cold.

Click here to see the Shoo-Fly Cakes the thoughts of my fellow Cake Slice bakers

Shoo-Fly Cake
(Recipe from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson)
200g caster sugar
170g butter
250g black treacle or molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
350g gluten free plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
225ml warm strong coffee

Crumb Topping
70g light soft brown sugar
100g gluten free plain flour
60g butter

Method – Crumb Topping
Make sure your butter is at room temperature and cut it into small pieces. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture using the tips of your fingers, like you would if making a crumble.
Work until the butter is broken down and a few clumps of buttery crumbs have formed. Set aside for later.

To Bake the Cake
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9 inch round deep springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and spices together in a bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter and pour it over the sugar, molasses and vanilla. Whisk the mixture until combined. (It will be slightly grainy, this is fine). Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Add a third of the flour and fold together. Add half the coffee and mix again. Repeat the process with more flour, coffee and the last of the flour.
Pour the batter into the cake tin (it will be runny) and scatter over the crumb topping.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving warm.
Reheat slices of any leftover cake before eating. Best eaten warm as a pudding and served with custard.
Makes 1 x 9inch cake


Johanna GGG said...

I love the name of the cake - how odd that it is better warm - though I am a huge fan of cakes warm out of the oven so would love this

Paloma said...

Very interesting indeed that the crumb topping sunk only in an area... it looks great though! I am sorry it turned out to be dry... You did great! :)

Unknown said...

I liked the way your cake turned out in terms of appearance, giving us an overview of how the whole structure of the cake looks like inside as well as outside. It's a pity that the cake was dry in the end.

We'll have more fun next month :)

Hello said...

Your cake turned out very similar to mine, although I'm not sure why the crumb sunk in one area, but I bet it still tasted delicious! x

Emily said...

I like that height of your cake. Sorry you don't quite like the recipe but hey the name is kinda special!

So far everyone who has a share of my bake enjoyed it!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Love the yin and yan!
A fairly forgettable cake for me too. :(

ImWhisper said...

The yin yang sure made it fun looking. :)

Joy said...

Katie, I love your descriptions- you write beautifully! :)

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Oh your cake looks divine! I love how your crumb and cake swirled around the top! I'm a new member and really happy to be a part of this wonderful group! : )

Cucina49 said...

The exact same thing happened with my crumb topping! What a gorgeous cake...it was delicious, too, wasn't it?

Monica H said...

I like the swirly pattern on the top of your cake. It's pretty! Sorry it was dry though :-(

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry you didn't have much success with the cake. :/ hopefully next month's cake will be better :)

OvenDelights said...

My word verification problem is fixed! Yay!
I really like the effect on the cake, makes it look fudgy!

All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

I am playing catch up and I really wanted to like this cake but I agree that it was dry. Mine also seemed to swallow part of the crumbs which made mine look a bit like tiger bread. So basically I liked the appearance but not the taste.