Saturday, 28 January 2012

Another chilly day and a Sticky Ginger Cake

I was feeling quite good about the weather...we have had so few cold days and the garden has been a pleasure even through December and January because the sun has shone and we finally had a chance to get on top of all of those November jobs that never happened!!

And then I sat and picked up Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'The River Cottage Year' with a coffee at some point in my day and started to read my way through the first few months of the year...January was quite up, buoyant and somewhat positive given that most people in the northern hemisphere find it the toughest month of the year...maybe it has something to do with the fact that his birthday is smack bang in the middle of the month when most people are hitting a real low with Christmas all over and the credit card bills coming in....

So enlightened he talked about eating seasonally...kale, cabbage, endive, carrots, game birds and the like...then as you head on into Feb it all starts to go downhill...he calls it 'the coldest and most depressing and soul destroying month of the year' and March does not fear much better except that March has the added addition of 'HOPE' the days get a little warmer and a little longer one can see the light at the end of the long winter tunnel...summer lays ahead with all of the glorious fresh, sunshine dependent foods that this promises...cherries, raspberries, strawberries and sun ripened tomatoes, aubergines and fresh basil!

So I, in my usual optimistic way, take these warmer temperatures to mean that all of this is a lot closer than usual but Hugh's harsh reality check has made me realise we have still got a few 'months' to go!!!
You can read more about Hugh and his mates at  The River Cottage on this link.

In order to not take this to much to heart and inspired by finding Geoff's gift of a jar of sweet ginger in my cupboard I decided to make a Sticky Really Gingery Ginger Cake...a firm family favourite that keeps in the tin forever and is just fab with a cuppa on a chilly January afternoon....

250 g flour
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
pinch of fine salt
200 g golden syrup
2 tbsp of syrup from the jar of stem ginger
125 gm butter
3 lumps of preserved stem ginger chopped into small peices
3 tbsp of sultanas
125 gm of Muscovado sugar

2 eggs
240 ml of milk 

Preheat the oven to 180 and line a 20 cm tin with 2 layers of baking paper.
1. Put 250 gm of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of fine salt into a large bowl and mix to combine.
2. Put golden syrup, syrup from the jar and butter into a saucepan and melt gently...

3. Add sugar, chopped ginger and sultanas to the warmed syrups and butter once it is melted.

4. Beat eggs and milk together in another bowl.
5. Add the warmed butter and golden syrup mixture to the flour and mix till combined. Add egg mixture and stir till there are no traces of flour.
5 Pour mixture into tin and cook for 35 - 40 mins...smell the ginger and enjoy the warm cake out of the oven to brighten up your day! The rest you should wrap in foil and put in a tin to enjoy over the next few days. This keeps exceptionally well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read your blogs religiously...they make me feel like I'm part of your days some how and that you're not really so far away! SJ x