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I have to admit, I’ve never liked any traditional Christmas bakes. Mince pies have never appealed (not sweet enough and mince meat?). I know, I know, it’s not real meat but being a peskitarian and all, it just feels wrong. And don’t even get me started on Christmas cake (Bah, humbug!). Yes it may be ‘festive’ but it’s just never appealed. So, this year I gave myself the task of finding an alternative, something festive and delicious which the whole family will enjoy. Et voila, that is when I came across Ginger cake.

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And, as you may know, I have been having trouble getting into the festive frame of mind. However, this cake immediately transported me to Christmas Day  because of all the festive smells (ginger, nutmeg, mixed spice and treacle, I could go on). You couldn’t not get excited about Christmas.

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The ginger smells yummy in the oven, you just get delicious wafts of it when you check how it’s doing…

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I think this would be a brilliant festive show stopper, especially if you adorned the middle with baubles, pine cones or flowers.

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Ingredients:

For the cake:
500g self-raising flour
200g soft dark brown sugar
3 tsp ginger
2tsp mixed spice
1 tsp nutmeg
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g butter
1 egg
70g golen syrup
10g treacle
450ml hot water
100g raisins
50g glace ginger
 
For the icing:
200g icing sugar
Juice of a lemon
Zest of a lemon
Recipe (The Little Elf Bakery)… makes 1 cake
 

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Sift the self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, soft dark brown sugar, ginger, mixed spice, nutmeg and raisins into a bowl. Add the butter and rub together so that it turns into crumbs (though the mixture shouldn’t come together like pastry). Then add the golden syrup, treacle and glace ginger. Boil the kettle and let it cool for a couple of minutes then little by little add the water and beat into the mixture. Lastly crack the egg into the mixture and beat in. Grease your baking tin and tip the mixture into it. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. If the top turns a dark golden brown but the middle is still wobbly, put some tin foil over the top of the cake. Once baked all the way through, take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. While it’s cooling make the lemon icing. To do this sift 200g icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice a tiny bit at a time and make sure the mixture doesn’t turn too runny. Drizzle around the cake then sprinkle the zest of the lemon. Put on a plate and place in the centre of your Christmas table!

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