I’ve baked a fair few ginger cakes in my time and have come to realise that one component really alters the outcome of the cake. If you want a dark, sticky stodgy ginger cake – and I think this is a winter thing – then use black treacle. For a pleasingly anytime cake use golden syrup. This version however, is definitely the airiest and spongiest variant and uses honey. You will notice that the cake is far lighter in colour too.
The icing looked similar to many other icings but when you read the method you will see how different it is. We’ve all balanced bowls on top of saucepans to start making luscious things like Swiss meringue buttercream but this icing is made totally in the saucepan. One pot cooking at its finest! When cooled the icing has an almost fudge-like texture and is a quite beautiful accompaniment to the hot ginger.
I enjoyed eating a slice of this while sipping my tea and marvelling that, not only had Roger Federer made another Wimbledon final, but I’d won yet another fridge magnet from the CCBF (Caked Crusader’s Boyfriend). Life is good!
For the cake:
80g unsalted butter
65g light brown sugar
185g self raising flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the icing:
60g unsalted butter
100g light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
100g icing sugar
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Grease a 16 x 26cm tray bake tin.
- Start by making the cake: Place the butter, honey and sugar into a medium sized saucepan – make sure it is big enough to hold all the other ingredients, as the saucepan is the mixing bowl for this cake.
- Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. You can best tell this by looking at the back of your spoon – if you can see tiny crystals, the sugar has not yet dissolved.
- Leave to cool slightly.
- Add the milk, eggs, flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda to the cooled mixture and stir in until well combined. I used a whisk as I find ginger cake batter is a bit lumpy and a whisk works better than a spoon.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.
- Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
- Now make the icing: melt the butter in a small saucepan.
- Add the light brown sugar and milk and bring to the boil.
- Simmer, stirring all the time, for 2 minutes.
- Stir in enough of the icing sugar to make a spreadable consistency.Spread over the top of the cooled cake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.