My ginger-fiend friend described it as one of the best ginger cake he ever had. Well you can't get a better encouragement than that! It was moist, soft, dark - I'm talking about the cake here okay? ;) with that slightly smoky bittery edge from the treacle and spiked by the spices that adorned it. Since I'm not too fond of icings so I did not bother putting any like I usually do. It was even better after a few days stored in an airtight container when it became moister and the rich dark taste developed and sort of 'matured' giving it a fuller-bodied deeper taste. Am I describing a cake or a wine??
So it was this 'naked' ginger cake that captured my colleagues' tastebuds which I adapted from my favourite BBC GoodFood magazine of October 2006 edition. They're getting better by the way (the magazine I mean). There was a year that I stopped buying because I was getting bored with the same recipes rehashed over and over again. But in the past 2 years they've become more innovative and bolder in introducing new sections such as the produce in season and their ultimate recipe series. They even launched the spin-off magazine Olive which concentrates on the dining out or travelling foodies. Giving info and tips and where and when to get the latest in restaurant food or delis for example.
Ginger & Spice Cake
250 g [1 cup] butter
250 g [3/4 cup] black treacle (molasses)
250 g [heaping 1 cup] dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs - slightly beaten
300 ml [scant 1 1/4 cups] milk
100 g finely chopped stem ginger (glace ginger from a jar)
375 g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
3 Tbsp ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar
5 Tbsp icing sugar (confectioner's)
- Butter and line a 9-inch/23-cm square deep baking pan. Preheat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/325°F.
- Combine the butter, treacle, and muscovado sugar in a saucepan. Heat gently for about 5 minutes or until the butter melted. Stir to mix.
- Stir in the milk. Remove from heat and stir in the eggs until well combined. Set aside.
- Mix all the dry ingredients including the chopped ginger in a bowl.
- Stir in the butter/milk mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth and well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the pan. At this point you can wrap it well in cling film or in an airtight container and store for up to a week.
- (Optional) On the day you're going to serve it, mix all the icing ingredients. Drizzle the icing prettily on the cake. Cut into squares.