Monday, November 6, 2017

Guy Fawkes Cake

Until the movie V for Vendetta came out, had you ever heard of Guy Fawkes? Me neither. But in the UK, he has his own holiday. Sort of. I'm pretty sure it's just an excuse for a big bonfire and fireworks in the middle of autumn but I'll take it!

Now the holiday is Bonfire Night so to remember, remember the 5th of November, there are bonfires and fireworks and mulled wine and even a BBC special, aptly called Gunpowder, with Kit Harrington around the plot to blow up Parliament (that's what Guy Fawkes is known for). According to Wikipedia, the bonfire is to symbolize the burning of Guy Fawkes so he's not exactly popular for his plot but history seems to have eased the betrayal into a more harmonious attitude.

But according to the Joy of Cooking, there's also a cake! Handily on the opposite page from fruitcake, this is described as a popular Northern cake, lightly sweetened and a bit like gingerbread. I have't met anyone yet who has heard of this cake and they seem to think I made it up for this holiday but really! It's in there! Also, apparently treacle isn't in fashion yet so I substituted with 1/3 cup golden syrup and 1/3 maple syrup and extra brown sugar. You could use a full substitute of maple syrup as well (according to the internet).

Butter is melted (can I get an 'amen'?) with the molasses (or chosen substitute) before being mixed in with the dry ingredients and spices. The batter is made even thinner with milk. The cake is not very thick and comes out a little sticky but still delicious. Joy recommends eating with some whipped topping and I concur. Although if you're out watching fireworks, plain is just as good. 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup molasses (treacle) 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8 baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and molasses together in a small saucepan. Remove from heat once the butter has melted, stirring to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, sugar, and spices. 
  4. Alternate mixing the milk and the butter-molasses mixture into the flour mixture until combined. The batter will be thin.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. The cake will be thin and spongy. 

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