Disclaimer: I was approached and asked if I would like to review a product, which was sent to me free of charge. I did not receive any payment. The review is my view of the product, positive or negative, as I found it.
The product in question was a set of spatulas by the company Joseph Joseph. I haven't used any Joseph Joseph products before but have seen them in department stores, where they always seem to be well made, so I was keen to try them out. The selling point of this set is that they have elevated heads, making them very helpful for messy cooks like me, with a very small amount of space to work in. I find myself quickly getting untidy with no-where to put things down. The idea is that these won't make messy splats on your work surface.
The set comprises two flexible spatulas and a slightly stiffer spoon type spatula. They are well made and solid in design. I like the fact that the spatula head joins the handle half way down (where the colour changes) because it means that you don't get bits of cake mixture stuck in the head part, which can be a problem with some designs.
I've used them a couple of times now, and am very pleased. They're very non-stick too, and are heat resistant up to 340C, which was good, given that one of the uses I put them to was making caramel! More on that to come in another post...
Thank you to Jo and Find Me a Gift. I didn't find it particularly easy to find the kitchen based gifts on the website, so it might take a bit of hunting.
Onto the cake... I really wanted a slightly alternative take on the festive baking going on at the moment, and whilst browsing the Guardian website, came across this article by Nigel Slater. There are a number of non traditional Christmas treats in it. He says this cake is the alternative Christmas cake that he has around to offer to guests who aren't traditional fruit cake fans. That appealed to me, and having all the ingredients available I set to make it.
Had I thought a little harder I would have realised it was just a gingerbread recipe! I think I was taken in by the 'additions' to the recipe, thinking that it would be something different (after all, who adds things to gingerbread - it's such a runny batter that they will undoubtedgly sink). But as I made the batter I realised that this was a standard gingerbread, and that my raisins and chopped ginger were indeed going to sink! I decided that I didn't mind, after all, gingerbread is one of my favourite cakes, and so I was interested to see how this one turned out!
I followed the recipe as given here (it's number 4, you need to scroll down the page), and my 4tbsp raisins (rather than sultanas) weighed about 85g. I didn't bother with the icing, I sometimes prefer my gingerbread naked....
What was it like? Well, pretty good. I had some good positive feedback from colleagues who really enjoyed how moist it was, but in all honesty it wasn't gingery enough for me. I think my ground ginger must be duff or there isn't enough of it in the recipe, but I found this cake just a touch on the sweet side because it wasn't gingery enough. That said, it was still delicious and moist, with a lovely sticky top, and once I resigned myself to the sinking ginger and raisins, they provided quite a nice layer of gooey luscious fruit on the base of the cake. A good recipe, but not a perfect one!