I adore ginger and what better way to eat it than in cake. There is nothing quite as joyous as a late afternoon slice of cake with a cup of coffee or tea. It is a wonderful time to sit and reflect and lose yourself in your thoughts for a little while. This recipe by Tom Dalby is a favourite of mine as it’s easy to prepare and even easier to eat. It suits any occasion, afternoon tea, celebration cake or even as dessert. i have been known to serve the ginger cake warm with custard instead of the lemon icing….luscious!
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
115g butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
115g dark muscovado sugar
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup
250ml whole milk
85g drained stem ginger, finely grated
For the icing
50g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Butter and line an 18cm round, 7cm deep cake tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and all the spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Put the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk in a medium saucepan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to just below boiling point.
Add the stem ginger to the flour mixture, then pour in the treacle mixture, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon. Break in the egg and beat until all the mixture is combined and it resembles a thick pancake batter. Pour this into prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out fairly clean. Leave to cool completely in tin before turning cake out. (To freeze: wrap in greaseproof paper, then in cling film. Freeze for up to 1 month.)
To make the icing, mix together icing sugar and lemon zest, then gradually add lemon juice until you have a smooth, slightly runny icing, adding more juice, if needed. Drizzle icing in a zig-zag pattern over surface of cake, turn cake around and drizzle again to create the cross-hatched finish (see below). Cake keeps for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.