Sweet weekendings

(Gingerbread ice-cream sandwich, espresso pudding, leatherwood milk)

My adorable five year old niece was once spotted demolishing the icing off a cupcake, leaving most of the cake behind. When it was pointed out to her by her disapproving mother, she exclaimed, “But I love cream!”. Uttered in her small, high-pitched voice, we found this quote so priceless, that B and I have since adopted it as our catchphrase. So now when I admonish B about his butter : toast ratio, he replies in a mock squeaky tone, “But I love butter!”

As for the dessert above, it started out as a slab of Guinness stout ginger cake. The recipe is by Claudia Fleming and is an absolute stunner. Assisted by the Guinness and molasses, this cake is unbelievably moist and has great depth of flavour with the perfect amount of spice.

In the mood for something a little different, I dried slices of the cake in the oven until crisp and sandwiched them between vanilla ice-cream (because I love ice-cream sandwiches). The sandwich was paired with accents of dry caramel and chocolate, dollops of espresso pudding (a recipe from the Alinea cookbook) and a frothy leatherwood honey milk which tasted malty and earthy : just like the gingerbread. There was also a small amount of smoked orange syrup drizzled on the plate, though not quite visible from the pictures.

Guinness stout ginger cake? I love it, and think you will too!

Guinness Stout Ginger Cake :
(serves 8; recipe from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming)

1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup molasses
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh gingerroot

Preheat the oven to 175’C. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, line the bottom and sides with parchment, and grease the parchment. Alternatively, butter and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan.

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the stout and molasses and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Allow to sit until the foam dissipates.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars. Whisk in the oil.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.

Combine the stout mixture with the egg mixture, then whisk this liquid into the flour mixture, half at a time. Add the fresh ginger and stir to combine.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the top springs back when gently pressed. Do not open the oven until the gingerbread is almost done or the center may fall slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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  1. mir said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

    I was wondering if you are going to feature this bread and I was keeping an eye out for the recipe :). It reminded me of a very moist gingerbread cookie, but never thought that it would make a great ice cream sandwich.

  2. cathy x. said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    oooh! did you use anything to stabilise the honey milk froth? (it’s my most favouritist drink ever. when i get to the bottom of the honey jar i fill it up with ice cold milk and shake it like crazy yum yum) re: vanilla ice cream in the frozen poppyseed dessert – do you make egg-free ice cream at home? i’ve never seen vanilla ice cream so snow white! *sobsob* it’s beautiful! πŸ˜›

  3. M said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

    Oh my…….can you make this for me- pretty please?!

  4. maybelles mom said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

    Once I have my baby, and I am free of nausea, I will be making this. I adore gingerbread.

  5. Caitlin said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

    Yeesssss. Two of my favorite things – gingerbread and espresso. And you can’t really go wrong with ice cream sandwiches either!

  6. Y said,

    June 8, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

    mir : Oh yes, I’d forgotten I’d give some to you! It’s great isn’t it!

    cathy x. : Actually it’s store bought ice-cream, which would explain why it’s more white than yellow.

    M : I should make you a creme brulee instead one day .. seeing as we both know how much you’re willing to fight for one πŸ˜‰

    maybelles mom : You should definitely make this one if you like gingerbread. It’s a really fantastic recipe.

    Caitlin : Or.. gingerbread and chicory!

  7. anna said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 12:18 am

    Ohhh that’s so cute! I need to start making sandwiches with my ice cream. And your Guinness cake sounds SO GOOD. I’ve been craving molasses lately.

  8. sweetie said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 12:39 am

    amazing job as usual. i like the idea of pairing the gingerbread with ice cream to remember that cinnamon and cloves belong in foods year round! what are other serving suggestions for the loaf? would a chocolate glaze work?

  9. Laura said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 3:42 am

    Y, this is another stunning dessert! I have Fleming’s book but I haven’t tried many recipes. I am glad you posted this one so I will have to make it if it gets your appoval!

    I love ice cream sandwiches!

  10. helen said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 7:28 am

    Well, I love your creations!

    And I’ll make anything with Guinness in it!

  11. Y said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 8:15 am

    sweetie : To be honest, the loaf is already amazing on it’s own, and doesn’t need anything else to go with it. A thin chocolate glaze might work, if you want to dress it up.

  12. erin @ dessert girl said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 8:21 am

    Yum!!! I have to make that cake!! Btw, what is leatherwood milk?

  13. Steph said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    I love ice cream sandwiches too. But the cake on its own sounds fantastic anyway, right up my alley. Now I think I know what I’ll do with the rest of my molasses! Might have trouble stocking up on Guinness without the boy getting to it though πŸ™

  14. Trisha said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    I’ve been a silent lurker of your site… I just think your dishes are wonderful creations!!
    Oh and I’m a huge fan of anything that is an ice cream sandwich.

  15. Howard said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 9:31 am

    I love ice cream sandwiches too, they have heaps in Japan where as we only have 2 or 3 varieties. The cake reminds me of a maxibon, which is my favourite πŸ˜€

  16. Y said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    erin @ dessert girl : The milk has been flavoured with leatherwood honey. Really delicious stuff. πŸ™‚

    Steph : Well the thing you need to do is buy more Guinness then! I like using it in beef stews also.

    Trisha : I haven’t really much of a clue about who bothers to visit and read my ramblings, so thanks for delurking πŸ™‚

    Howard : Ah yes, the Maxibon.. it’s made a bit of a comeback lately too hasn’t it!

  17. Forager said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 10:11 am

    Ooh I love ice cream sandwiches. This looks gorgeous – as always.

    We’ve got one of those phrases as well – funnily enough also from a kid, but our Irish friend’s nephew who says I luuuuurve it or I haaaaate it in an Irish accent. Used liberally in our household.

  18. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    I’m a similar cupcake eater and I think I’ve probably uttered the very same cry (although it isn’t anywhere near as adorable bring a grown woman). I’ve made Nigella Chocolate Guinness cake which was deliciously damp and moist.

  19. Betty said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    this looks delicious! i adore ice cream sandwiches πŸ˜‰

  20. Kirstin said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    Guinness cakes are the best! I have my typical go-to recipe, but I’ve never thought to add any extra spices. I’m a big fan of ginger and cardamom though, so I’ll def have to give it a try!

  21. cindy said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    yum! gingerbread! and ice cream sandwiched! oh my.

  22. Simon Food Favourites said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    cakes are looking so good. when are you opening a cafe or shop to compete with Zumbo? πŸ™‚

  23. shez said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 11:42 am

    how lovely and home-y for a long weekend Y. all those spices and the rich warmth of the stout sound like a big warm blanket in front of a cosy fireplace setting to me. lovely!

    (and is the icecream gingerbread too? or vanilla? or some other over-the-rainbow-esque flavour?)

  24. Memoria said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

    Wow, this sandwich is exquisite! If it didn’t have alcohol in it, I would be tempted to eat it :).

    Did you use homemade ice cream? If so, what flavor?

  25. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    That sounds like a beautiful cake, and I love the way you’ve found a way to turn it into icecream sandwiches!

    Out of the mouths of babes, huh?

  26. the caked crusader said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

    I *LOVE* the look of this dessert!
    Another stunner – how do you do it?

  27. Aran said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

    looks completely amazing!

  28. Hannah said,

    June 9, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    Have I mentioned that I have a serious weakness for ice cream sandwiches? Lets not mention the time I ate my way through a whole package of 8 Tofutti Cuties in one day…. Oh goodness, I’m getting hungry looking at those gorgeous plates!

  29. Sophie said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 2:58 am

    Gosh you are clever! This so reminds me of my childhood (the ice cream sandwich part), but it’s all grown up now right here, and looking so tempting! πŸ˜€ It’s funny b/c it sounds like your niece does the complete opposite of what I did when I was little — I took off the frosting, believe it or not :P!

  30. Manggy said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 4:06 am

    I have to confess something: when I read the caption, I was already like, “okay, I’m not even going to read the story, I need to get to that recipe!” Ha ha ha. I am a gingerbread fiend. You might even say I LOVE it! πŸ™‚

  31. Irene said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 6:40 am

    Ok, I’m sorry, maybe it’s summer, but it looks like a mud pie to me, and it looks AWESOME!!!

  32. lisaiscooking said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 6:50 am

    That may be the best ice cream sandwich ever made! It sounds delicious. Great thought to slice the cake and dry it for sandwich use!

  33. Piggy said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I’ve baked Claudia Fleming’s guinness stout ginger cake before but I just ate it as it is. You’re so creative in turning it into ice cream sandwich!

  34. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

    Y – this is a great idea. Sounds delicious. I love those flavour combinations. Your photos are great, too! πŸ™‚

  35. Anita said,

    June 10, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

    That sounds (and looks) absolutely FANTASTIC! I wouldn’t normally go for Guinness in cakes, but one of my friends has tempted me before and now I can’t get enough of chocolate Guinness cakes.

  36. Carolyn said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 1:50 am

    This looks incredible. Your food styling always makes me smile.

  37. Sophie said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

    This looks really appetizing, Y!!
    What a beautiful presentation too! I bet this tasted excellent!! mmmmmm….

  38. gine said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    ooo I so LOVE icecream-sandwiches ^^ ! XOXO

  39. FFichiban said,

    June 11, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

    Guiness in cake form?!?! BRILLIANT!!

  40. Juliana said,

    June 12, 2009 @ 1:05 am

    Great looking cake…ginger…I love the flavor of it! You made it so nice…sandwich ice cream…yummie! Great pictures…

  41. marvellous said,

    June 12, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    I used to eat ice-cream on toast all the time as a kid! Mum always used to say, How can you eat like that? Clearly I’m not the only one with an ice-cream-with-anything fetish. Mmmmmm……

  42. Jackie @ PhamFatale.com said,

    June 13, 2009 @ 5:16 am

    Oh the photo is simply gorgeous. It looks so elegant

  43. cakebrain said,

    June 13, 2009 @ 6:37 am

    Is there some way you could move in with me? My all-time childhood favourite ice-cream treat was the ice cream sandwich! You make it so grown-up and gorgeous! My 5-year old love to lick off all the buttercream too. In our household, the butter to toast ratio is high. Mayo is spread to the edges and chicken skin is coveted.

  44. Christy said,

    June 13, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

    Oh, so you resisted the temptation of drinking it, and finally turned into a cake. Or did you drink that and got B to get you another one? Hehe.

    I love cakes like these (see, it’s contagious)!! And pairing it with leatherwood honey milk sounds perfect. I love leatherwood honey! Hehe. But just out of curiosity, is the leatherwood honey milk some type of foam? Because it sure looks like it to me. Because, you know, I love foams!

    PS. Will email you back tomorrow. Promise.

  45. Tartelette said,

    June 14, 2009 @ 11:18 am

    As always I am running short of adjectives to tell you how completely delicious this looks! You had me at leatherwood honey milk foam πŸ™‚

  46. deeba said,

    June 14, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    This has got be the ultimate dessert nirvana…just gorgeous! My jaw dropped when I read the description; leatherwood honey milk foam, unheard of here, but intriguing as can be!! WOW!!

  47. Cakelaw said,

    June 14, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    Delicious! I adore gingerbread, and the icecream sandwich concept is devine.

  48. breadchick said,

    July 1, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

    OMG that looks incredible and I can’t wait to try this.

  49. Talita said,

    July 6, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

    Wow! This looks so decadent! You have a great blog! Amazing pics and delicious recipes!

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