Recipe developed by Alanna Marise
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, Cooking Time: 60 minutes
A colleague of mine actually introduced this idea to me after I spent some time telling her all about my Christmas baking purchases for this year. I was telling her very excitedly about my new gingerbread man cookie cutter and chocolate mould and she mentioned that a classic, ginger loaf always went down a treat. This of course lead me to think, ‘that is sort of Christmas-ey’. While gingerbread loaf is meant to be the kind of treat that will warm you from the inside when you have it along with a hot drink, they are still delicious to eat in those countries, like mine, that have a summer Christmas. For you, northern hemisphere people that have a white Christmas you definitely can sit down and enjoy this warm, oozey ginger loaf next to the fire or with a cup of hot chocolate.
I thought I would try this out and see how I went. So off I set to make my first ever gingerbread loaf, and to somehow masquerade it as a Christmas time treat. In full celebration of Christmas I thought I would add some dried fruit, sultanas in this case, and a spoonful of cinnamon. The loaf turned out really well and was enjoyable both warmed with some butter added, or cooled and eaten slowly amongst sips of coffee.
When I specify the maple syrup below please take into account I live in New Zealand, which is nowhere near where maple trees grow. Our maple syrup is artificially flavoured. If you have the real thing please take this into consideration, and maybe taste test as you go along. In this recipe the maple syrup sweetens the loaf, but does not overly flavour it. If you have a proper maple syrup it will affect the flavour of this loaf. So taste test to your liking.
This recipe is a bit flexible for a bit more maple syrup should you wish. The ginger and spices won’t be able to be increased much but you could swap out the cinnamon for mixed spice depending on what you plan on pairing this dish with. The maple syrup can be switched with golden syrup but the latter will give this a stronger, deeper flavour. If you go with golden syrup a caramel sauce drizzled over would work really well. If you find this loaf quite sweet, then whipped cream is your answer.
- 2 c flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 3/4 c sultanas
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 t cinnamon
- 3 t ginger
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 120 g butter
- 1 1/2 c milk
- 6 T maple syrup
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf dish with baking paper.
2 Soften the butter and then beat together with the brown sugar in a small bowl the beat in the eggs. Slowly whisk in the milk and maple syrup until combined then whisk vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
3 Slice the sultanas into small pieces (we dont want people taking a bite and getting a mouthful of whole sultanas) and then set aside.
4 Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt into a large bowl. Add the chopped sultanas and mix through. Make a well in the centre.
5 Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold together till it forms a runny mixture.
6 Pour mixture into loaf dish and place in the hot oven for 50-60 minutes until golden on top and cooked through. If the top of the loaf begins to golden early on then place tin foil over top of the loaf for the rest of cooking to stop the top from burning (this will largely depend on it’s placement in the oven).
7 Take out of the oven when golden and cooked through and leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes. After this place on a wire rack to cool completely.
*You can leave the loaf as is, or could ice with a caramel icing. The loaf will keep fresh for a couple of days or can be frozen for a couple of weeks.
For the crafty bit:
1 Print out the star shape, then trace a few stars onto a sheet of baking paper with a pencil.
2 Cut out the stars slightly within the traced lines (so you don’t get pencil on your baking).
3 Run a few pins under boiling hot water (be careful with your fingers) to sanitize them. You will need the same number of pins as cut out stars.
4 Pin the stars through the middle onto the loaf in a random pattern.
5 Using a small, fine sieve dust icing sugar over the top of the completely cooled loaf.
6 Pull the pins and paper out and now you have a Christmas themed Maple Gingerbread Loaf.
Have you tried this out? Be sure to tag me in any and all Instagram posts if you give this a go! (@lana_holla and #splatteredapron) I would love to see how yours turns out!