Happy New Year!
Why does saying this seem so inappropriate in damp and dismal January?
If you’re struggling with the January blues (I am a little bit) then you might like to treat yourself by baking (and eating) this warming ginger cake.
The original recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (the first one). It is a comforting, old fashioned ginger cake (tasting rather like the shop bought McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake, only better) and is very easy to make. To prove this point my daughter made the one pictured all by herself. She will not however be photographed for this blog anymore – she is nine and well aware of her rights.
The ginger flavour is quite subtle so if you want more punch then I suggest doubling the quantities of powdered and stem ginger. It is a very sturdy cake that keeps well for a week or so wrapped in foil. It actually tastes best after maturing for three or four days. Cut off a square and zap for 20 seconds in the microwave. It’s lovely by itself but even better served with ice cream, clotted cream or custard.
- 250g of self raising flour
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- A pinch of salt
- 200g of golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons of syrup form the stem ginger jar
- 125g of butter
- 55g (about 3 lumps) of stem ginger in syrup, diced finely (or leave larger if you like a good hit of ginger)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of sultanas
- 125g of dark muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 240ml of milk (semi-skimmed works fine)
Set your oven to 180oC (fan).
Take a 20 x 20 cm tin and line with baking parchment. I like to take the baking parchment all the way up the sides of the tin with extra to fold over the cake when storing. When I doubled the ingredients once for a large party I used a 22 x 33 cm tin.
Sift the flour with the powdered ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Put the golden syrup, ginger syrup and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until melted.
Then add the diced stem ginger, sultanas and sugar. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble gently for a minute, stirring often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.
In another bowl add the eggs and milk and whisk with a fork.
Pour the syrup and butter mixture into the flour and stir with a metal spoon, then add the milk and eggs and mix until everything is well incorporated.
Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes (45-50 if you’ve double the quantity).
Leave the cake to cool in the tin and then wrap it up in the baking parchment and store in an air tight container. Leave to mature for a couple of days if you can.