Monday, 2 March 2009

Gingerbread

This is one of my favourite recipes (with a smeary and spattered page in the book - How to be a Domestic Goddess), and fortunately, extremely easy to make. I love recipes that don't require you to have softened butter, because firstly I never remember to take it out, and secondly, even if I do take the butter out my house is sufficiently cold that it never softens to proper soft consistency to allow easy creaming. I always have to cream the butter on its own first to make sure it isn't going to kill off my electric hand mixer.

Anyway, enough of the moaning and onto the cake. You can probably guess that this cake is made with a melted butter method - so quick, so easy and smells so delicious as you do it. There really is something about the smell of melting butter, sugar, syrup and treacle that is sublime.......

Gingerbread (adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson)
Ingredients
150g butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle (I ran out and used about 150g treacle, 250g syrup)
2 heaped tsp ground ginger (or to taste if you don't want it as strong or like it hotter)
250ml milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
300g plain flour


Method
- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
- Grease and line a 12 x 8" (20 x 33 cm) tin with parchment paper. DO NOT use a loose bottomed tin, or anything with cracks in it. The reason will be apparent later.
- Gently melt the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle and ginger in a large-ish pan.
- Off the heat, add the milk, eggs and bicarbonate of soda with its water.
- Pour the melted mixture onto the weighed flour, beating well until no lumps of flour remain. Or, if you're me and misread the recipe - add the flour to the pan (less washing up....) and beat with an electic whisk to remove the lumps - the electric whisk is necessary - just beating with a spoon doesn't work.
- The batter will be liquid - think double cream consistency (which is why you can't have any cracks in your baking tin) so pour it into the lined tin and place in the oven.
- Bake for 45mins to 1 hour until risen and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


- When cool, you can ice the cake with a simple icing made from 175g icing sugar and 1tbsp lemon juice plus a little water as necessary to make a thick icing. Spread this on and allow to set before cutting.
- This makes 18-20 squares.

Fabulously sticky and gingery with lovely hints of treacle adding to the warmth. I love the magic of pouring the batter into the tin, placing it in the oven and removing a cake an hour later! The cake itself is light and moist and utterly delicious.

I didn't make the lemon icing this time, because it can get a little messy when transporting the cake to work etc, but if you want to, the sharply sweet lemony icing is the perfect contrast.

2 comments:

Maria♥ said...

Hi C

How to be a domestic goddess was my first ever Nigella book and to this day one of my faves! I've never made the gingerbread recipe from her book but it looks so moist and delish.

Maria
x

C said...

Hi Maria,

Thanks for visiting. Yep, I've had How to be a Domestic Goddess for a while now, and this ginger cake really is delicious. I only recently discovered how good the buttermilk birthday cake is too!

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