Monday, 24 September 2007

Sticky Ginger Cake

In my youth I was never a fan of ginger, now I’m making up for it. Everything about stem ginger makes it great for baking: its mouth-watering stickiness, its wonderful aroma that fills your head so you can’t smell anything else, its warm taste and beautiful glossy golden colour. Plus the smell of it cooking wafts gently from the oven so that eventually the whole house smells of ginger cake!

This cake is very easy to make and can also be frozen un-iced. It’s warming to eat and exactly the dense, sticky texture that you want from a ginger cake although lighter than parkin. Which is great, as it means you can eat more of it!

I’ve never yet baked it without it cracking on the top, so don’t worry – it will still look marvellous:

Cracking doesn’t matter, especially if you’re going to ice the top. I would advise this as the sweet icing beautifully compliments the warm spices, and increases the stickiness! There are options as to what icing to use – these are set out below. You could also serve it warm with custard as a pudding. I chose to use the plain icing; here it is just when the icing has been put on and is hardening:


For the cake:
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
100g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
100g black treacle
100g golden syrup
250ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
85g stem ginger from a jar – finely grated
1 egg

For the icing:
11 tablespoons icing sugar
3-4 tablespoons water


For lemon drizzle icing:
50g icing sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice

How to make:

- preheat oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/Gas mark 4 and line a 18cm round deep cake tin with baking paper – I prefer the cake tin liners
you can buy, the ones that look like giant cupcake cases, because then there is no need to grease the tin.
- Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and spices into a large bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs. (NB. If you want your cake to be spicier, add more of the ground ginger. Don’t add more stem ginger as this is moist and will upset the balance of the cake).
- Heat the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk gently in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. You know this has happened when you cannot see grains on the back of your spoon.
- Turn up the heat and bring the mixture almost to the boil. Then turn the heat off.
- Add the grated stem ginger to the flour mixture. I find stem ginger easiest to chop in my electric mini chopper; you could grate it by hand but it is very sticky and might be tough to hold on to.
- Pour the treacle mixture into the flour mixture stirring all the time. Crack in the egg and beat until the mixture looks well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the tin. It will be very runny so don’t panic!
- Bake for approx 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. I have made this cake three times and each one took a different length of time. Definitely check it after 50 minutes but don’t panic if it needs an hour or more even.
- Leave to cool in the tin completely before turning out.
- To make the icing, put the icing sugar and water in a bowl and whisk until smooth. It really isn’t an exact science – if it looks too runny, add more icing sugar, too thick, add water until you get the consistency you want. Spoon over the top of the cool cake and let it run where it pleases.
- The lemon icing is the same method but makes less so drizzle it in a criss-cross pattern over the cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Soo said...

Egads! I've just realised I forgot to taste the Ginger Cake today. I expect a night of tossing and turning as I come to terms with the fact that there may be none left when I get to work tomorrow.


Viknits said...

Yum yum yum!!!
I particularly like the look of the custard cream below *drool*

Carolyn said...

Looking forward to popping by your blog to see what you bake next - I too enjoy cooking

MissFuggles said...

I'd just like to say I've made this recipe twice now and without wishing to gush, it's the ginger cake I have been looking for all my life. The taste and texture are perfect - moist, sticky and spicy, but not too sweet or gooey. And it is indeed foolproof (this from someone who the last time she made a coffee cake, thought gosh, that mixture's a bit stiff, added more milk, baked it, and then stared at the 4 eggs sitting on the worktop looking at her accusingly. Also why am I speaking of myself in the third person).

PS I did 1.5 the quantity in a 9 inch springform tin lined with baking parchment, if that helps.

It's nearly all gone now though :-(

An excellent recipe (not that anything I have tried from here has been otherwise!)

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Miss Fuggles

Glad to have provided you with the recipe for a "dream cake"!
Thanks for the tip about scaling up - always handy to know just in case my cake need expands!