Friday, 2 March 2007

Gregg's Ginger Pillow

Cakes, I love them. I sometimes wish I didn't love them with such passion, then I could go a week or two without feeling like I am missing a best friend. I have to avoid making cakes more than I wish simply because my late 30's metabolism has slowed down to pear shape making speed. No quantity of sea kelp or training seems to be able to halt my ability to put on weight with the merest glance at a cake. But hey, who cares.

This kind of cake reminds me of soggy cold days indoors when cake eating and hot tea slurping is a must. Beautifully spicy, deep and musky, my richest of rich ginger cakes melts and crunches in your mouth at the same time. It is as much an adult cake as it is a kid's cake. I can remember as a young lad in South Shields being addicted to them Jamaican Ginger Cakes made by a very famous treacle company. I could eat a whole one in 5 minutes and still play '3's and in' until we couldn't see the ball any more. Happy days indeed.

I am pleased to say that if you bake this cake to perfection, happy days will return very fast. I can guarantee a smile on your face as much as I can guarantee that you will not be able to resist another slice. It begs to be eaten with a huge mug of strong tea. Quintessentially English, despite the spice and the tea coming from way out East, these are the kind of nibbles that make us what we are over here in the U.K. It will fill your house with the most enticing of smells and will make everybody thankful that they know you.

Rich Ginger Cake

250g Plain Flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
130g salted butter
200g golden syrup
130g muscovado sugar
4 lumps stem ginger finely diced
4 tbsp stem ginger syrup
250ml milk
2 eggs beaten

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, GM3. Grease and line one 20cm loose bottomed cake tin.
2 - Sieve the flour, bicarbonate soda, ground ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl.
3 - In a large pan, melt the butter then add the syrups, diced stem ginger and sugar. Melt until it is oozingly caramelised then remove from the heat.
4 - Pour into the flour and spice mixture, stirring all of the time. Then pour in the eggs and milk and beat until thoroughly combined.
5 - Pour into the cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes.
6 - Remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve in large slices with lots of tea and, if you are feeling clever, a drizzle of easy peasy home made butterscotch sauce.

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