*If using glass, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
FINISHED HEIGHT: about
|golden refiner’s syrup|
|dark brown sugar|
(weighed without shells)
|whole wheat flour|
|lemon juice, freshly squeezed||•||•|
|unsalted butter (softened)|
In a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the butter, golden syrup, sugar and marmalade until melted and uniform. Set aside and let cool until just barely warm; then whisk in the eggs and milk.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a large spoon or rubber spatula just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling it no more than half full (see Pointers for Success).
While the gingerbread is baking, make the syrup. In a small pan, stir together the lemon juice, softened butter and sugar. Heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved.
Brush half the syrup on to the top of the hot gingerbread. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
Loosen the sides of the gingerbread with a small metal spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the bottom with the remaining syrup. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the top is up.†
† The British like their gingerbread moist and sticky. To achieve that consistency, invert it instead onto a large flat plate covered with a larger piece of plastic wrap, brush the cake with the syrup and cover it with the plastic wrap.
For extra moistness, cover the cake with plastic wrap (preferably Saran brand) while still hot and allow it to cool. For the most even moisture distribution, wrap airtight and set aside for 24 hours before serving.
To decorate the cake with a pumpkin motif, cut the cake into 2-inch squares. Lay the template on top of one of the pieces of cake and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Lift off the template and repeat with the remaining cake pieces. (To make the template, trace the design and use an X-Acto knife to make the cutouts for the eyes, nose and mouth [Fig. 1].)
© 1992 Rose Levy Beranbaum. All rights reserved.