Polish Gingerbread Cake

My lovely Polish neighbour and I enjoy making cakes together. I tasted a Polish gingerbread cake at her house recently, so thought I'd find a recipe and make one too.
I had a look online, but some didn't seem to be authentic, some had strange ingredients, so in the end I used a mixture of several recipes, taking what I thought were good bits from each!
The cake contains a mix of spices - ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, so I mixed together what I thought would give the cake a good spicy taste, without it being overpowering.
Some of the cakes in the recipes were cut in half and filled with plum jam, some were iced with chocolate, so it seems as if there's as many variations with this cake as there are with some traditional British cakes.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4           grease a 900g loaf tin

The recipe is very easy - you melt 170g light brown sugar with 75g butter, 170g honey and 2 tbspn strong coffee granules[ I used Azera Espresso] in a pan. As soon as the butter and sugar have dissolved, take pan off the heat and while the mixture is still hot add 300g plain flour which has been mixed with 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda and a mix of 1 tspn ginger,1 tspn cinnamon, 1/2 tspn cardamom, 1/2 tspn cloves and 1/2 tspn nutmeg. Mix this together - the mixture is very thick and quite difficult to stir together. Let it cool. beat 2 eggs and add to the batter, mixing well. It takes a bit of elbow work to get the eggs to mix in!
You can add a handful of dried fruit or nuts to the mixture, but I left it plain.
Spoon into the loaf tin and bake for about 50 - 60 mins.

For the chocolate topping I used the Mary Berry recipe that Suelle has adapted on her great  Mainly Baking blog It always works - it's chocolate, butter, golden syrup and milk.

The cake had a good spicy flavour and texture, but I thought it was rather dry. I left it in the oven a few minutes too long and the outside was quite hard, tho' it has softened since being left in a cake tin. I put a nice thick layer of the chocolate topping and this gave it another texture.
If I make this again, I think I will put a jam layer in the centre; maybe this layer is because the cake is meant to be dryish?


I love a spice cake. I must admit that I like a very moist cake if it contains spices but I might be in a minority. I know someone who has to have it dry enough to be given a very generous coating of butter. A layer of plum jam does sound good to me but so does that topping.

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