Yeah, it’s chilly. Well, sort of. I mean, not to brag, but we never reeeeally get that chilly here in Brisbane. We get sunshine and brisk mornings and the opportunity to wear socks from time to time. Winter suits us. It’s our best season.
I’ve been in two minds about whether to post this cake, because I made one glaringly obvious mistake, and I’m embarrassed about it. It’s my trees… my rosemary trees that Erin inspired me to make.
I stuck them on upside down.
So they look a bit like sprigs of rosemary stuck into a cake, rather than snow-dusted Christmas trees. I’ve decided to move past it, because with the exception of the upside-down trees, this cake really is delicious and festive, full of warming spice and cosiness, the perfect seasonal cake. It’s about as Christmassy as the ice-skating rink they’ve set up at King George Square, as festive as drinking mulled cider in a Brisbane pub with a light jacket on.
So fellow Antipodeans, are you celebrating Christmas in July? Or if not, what *would* you most likely bring to a Christmas in July party?
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temp
- 100g / ½ cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, at room temp
- 100ml / ⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
- 150ml / ⅔ cup buttermilk, at room temp
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 225g / 1½ cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 50g unsalted butter
- 250g cream cheese
- 125g / ½ cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
- Four sprigs of rosemary
- Silver cachous
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan-forced, and grease and line two 6-inch/15-cm cake tins.
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar, and mix for 2-3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until incorporated.
- Add the molasses and buttermilk, and mix to combine.
- In a medium separate bowl, combine the ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, flour and salt. Add into the bowl of the stand mixer, and mix until just combined.
- Divide mixture between the two cake tins and level with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden and springy. Test for doneness by using a skewer or cake tester.
- Remove from oven, and then allow to cool slightly in the tins before removing them.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Level the cakes using a sharp bread knife. They are now ready to be frosted.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter and sugar for one minute, then add the cream cheese. Beat until thick, fluffy and creamy - around one minute. You can add a tbsp of milk to make it slightly looser, if it seems too thick.
- To assemble, place one layer of cake onto the serving board, and dollop around ⅓ of the frosting mixture on top. Spread it out evenly with an offset spatula.
- Place the remaining cake layer on top, and dollop another ⅓ of the mixture on top. Spread it out evenly.
- For the crumb coating, spread a thin layer of frosting all around the circumference of the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow it to harden.
- Spread the remaining frosting mixture over the crumb coat layer, and smooth it out.
- Place the rosemary sprigs upside down on top of the cake, pressing lightly to push them in.
- Place 2 tbsp of icing sugar in a small sieve, and lightly dust over the tops of the rosemary.
- Sprinkle silver cachous over the top of the cake.
- Slice and serve!
Unlevelled cake layers can be kept for 1-2 days before decorating, or frozen for future use.