Sunday, 29 March 2009

Brian Turner’s ginger cake

Brian Turner is one of the most well-known chefs in the UK, and has provided this recipe to Shelter’s cake time fund raising appeal. The idea behind the appeal is that you host a tea party and raise money for Shelter, the homeless charity. I like Brian Turner because he cooks what I call ‘proper food’ and never uses dirty words like “low fat” or “low calorie”.

I wasn’t going to make this cake as it uses buttercream and as I was also making cupcakes with buttercream it seemed like possible overkill. When I mentioned this to the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) there was a pause, until she said with a somewhat incredulous tone to her voice, “but you can’t have enough buttercream”. Which of course is I made the ginger cake!

Ginger cake really benefits from being made in advance; it matures and gets stickier and richer. This cake was lovely as it had the depth of flavour you want from a ginger cake but didn’t have a stodgy texture. The plain cake was beautiful on its own; I sometimes find that ginger cakes sink a little as they cool – this one didn’t:

I haven’t made a typo with the quantities of icing sugar and butter for the buttercream. Unusually, this recipe uses more butter than sugar which is in stark contrast to most other buttercream recipes. The buttercream was – unsurprisingly – buttery and it worked really well the intense flavour of the ginger.

Here’s the cake ready for serving; bonus marks go to those of you who spot my Kevin Spacey mug peeking around the tea cosy:

For the cake:
230g unsalted butter
285g light muscovado sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
350ml boiling water
450g self raising flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger (or more if you dare!)
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Splash of milk

For the buttercream:
170g icing sugar
230g unsalted butter
100g drained stem ginger, chopped finely

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- Line 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
- In a saucepan melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup together with the boiling water.
- Sieve the flour into the melted ingredients along with the ground ginger and stir until combined.
- Blend the bicarbonate of soda with a dash of milk and then add to the saucepan. Beat well to ensure the bicarbonate of soda is evenly distributed.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took 48 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.
- The cake can be made a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container.
- To make the buttercream place the icing sugar and butter into a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in most of the chopped ginger, retain the rest for decorating the cake.
- Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread a generous half of the buttercream over the bottom layer.
- Replace the top half of the cake and spread the remaining buttercream on top.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Margaret said...

I too like Brian Turner - on screen he doesn't use all that horrid bad language, because he can actually put a string of words together to make a sentence!!!
The cake looks huge but lovely and no eggs - thats a new one on me. Brilliant recipe.

Sam said...

There's no risk of this being low-calorie! It looks fabulous, I really like ginger cake and love buttercream. Yum!

Y said...

Hahaha I love CCM!

Not familiar with Brian Turner, but he sounds alright to me! :)

Elyse said...

Wow, this cake looks fabulous. I love a spicy, moist ginger cake. And the cake without frosting did look just gorgeous--of course, the butter cream adds a whole new dimension to this cake! Looks delicious!

Maria♥ said...

I totally agree with CCM, you can never have enough buttercream!! This cake looks wonderful and another to add to the list of must bakes!


J.Danger said...

CCM is a smart smart woman!

eilidhrhead said...

This recipe just got me out of a very sticky (non pun-intended) spot this afternoon. I needed to make ginger cake but had no eggs and then I found this recipe!

It turned out beautiful. Dense and moist - just how i remember from when I was little! Thank you very much, I've added your blog to my reading list so I don't miss out on any other gems!