Gateau de Sirop (Cajun Spice Cake)

Gateau de Sirop (Cajun Syrup Cake)

… aka, “Let there be light” day …

For the last half-dozen years, we’ve used St. Lucy’s Day as the start of the Christmas decorating. This is a big concession for dh, a guy who believes fully in the penitential time of Advent … but understands that the rest of us are chomping at the proverbial bit to get Christmas decorating … baking … wrapping … started. So St. Lucy’s Feast Day, which propitiously fell on a Saturday this year, marks the first day we put up lights (inside and out) and begin to pull out the decorations and “smells and bells” of the Christmas season.

We started a new tradition this year, one you can see in the picture above.

My dh, who spent his youth and formative years in Baton Rouge, loves Cajun cooking and baking. This year, I found a recipe for Gateau de Sirop (or “cajun syrup cake). This particular recipe, as do most of the real recipes, recommend Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup rather than Karo or other liquid sweetener.

Lucky for me, Amazon actually sells the stuff (and with free shipping) … I went ahead and also ordered Steen’s Molasses since dh loves that stuff too.

The cake came out beautifully and we used it as our St. Lucy Celebration Cake — placing 4 votive candles to brighten our dark winter evening ….

Here’s the recipe (the original from the Steen’s site) … and it was dubbed a keeper!

Steen’s Gateau de Sirop

2-1/2 c flour, plus more for the pan
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (this gives it a nice light kick!)
1-1/2 c dark cane syrup (Steen’s preferred!)
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
powdered sugar for dusting the cooled cake

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a 9-inch, round metal cake pan. Line the bottom with buttered parchmet. Sprinkle in a bit of flours, swishing around to coat the whole pan with flour; tap and turn out any excess flour.

In a bowl, mix/sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, salt and pepper. In a larger bowl, whisk together the syrup, butter and egg. Beat one-third of the flour mix with one-third of the soda/water mixture into the syrup mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are combined and you have a smooth batter. Do NOT overmix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for about an hour — till a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in the pan and than invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar.

This was a deemed a success … and it is delicious. A slight “bite” with the pepper, but a marvelously smooth blend of spices (with all melding together and none being “too much”). The kids didn’t even want to put ice cream on it … altho you could certainly serve it with … Leftovers purportedly taste even better (I’ll let you know) and it’s recommended that if the cake does dry out … pouring a bit of Steen’s and sweetened whipped cream will freshen it right up.

A new tradition is born! (and a lot less work that dressing up daughter and having her serve hot, fresh cinnamon rolls!)

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