I won't lie to you. Someone says ginger cake to me and it automatically conjures up images of slabs of traybake so dense and thick with black treacle that you could use it as a door wedge. As such, I have steadfastly avoided baking ginger cakes, and probably would have continued to do so if I hadn't come across this at (cliched as it sounds) a village fete.
I thank my baking stars that we got peckish before we got home and ended up trying some whilst wandering around. It took a little charm and a not so little donation to the tupperware "till" at the cake stand to convince the lady behind the stall to part with her "family secrets", but the result was a recipe I adore!
The thing I love most about this recipe is the thin crispy glaze on the top that cracks when you bite into it. It seeps into the sponge when it is still warm so you get that sharp citrus bite to go with your warm gooey ginger flavours. Mmmmmm.
Anyway. The recipe:
For the cake:
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger (this gives a mild ginger flavour, if you fancy something stronger double it to 4 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
100g black treacle
100g light brown sugar
50g stem ginger, finely chopped
For the glaze:
4 tablespoons ginger syrup from the jar of stem ginger
4 tablespoons boiling water
1 table spoon of lemon juice
200g icing sugar
Put the flour, ginger, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and butter into a bowl and rub together until you have a breadcrumb consistency.
Place the golden syrup, black treacle, sugar and diced stem ginger into a large saucepan – you are going to add the other ingredients to the pan so make sure it is big enough!*
Warm slowly until the sugar has dissolved.
Raise the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, then remove from the hob.
Beat the milk and eggs into the hot mixture.
Mix in the flour and butter crumbs.
Stir thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
Pour into you 20cm square cake tin (the mixture is meant to be that runny - don't worry!) and put in a pre heated oven at gas mark 4 for 45 minutes.
Beat together the glaze ingredients and when the cake has been out of the oven for ten minutes, pour evenly over the top. Leave to cool. Try not to eat it all at once!
*Side note on saucepans: it's worth investing in a decent one. Try this in your common or garden supermarket fare and I almost guarantee you burnt sugar and a nightmare washing up job. Seriously - invest in something decent. I recommend Procook Saucepans - Worth every penny and won't mess up your masterpiece!