I concocted this recipe from a few different sources. I loved the idea of using stem ginger in syrup, and also wanted to incorporate that most old-fashioned of ingredients, black treacle. Plus some golden syrup. And molasses sugar. And then some crystallised ginger to top it off. Y’know, just in case it wasn’t already sweet enough…
The result was a superbly moist – and not actually overly sweet – cake that I’m sure would have kept well. Questionably it would even have improved on keeping, if it had only lasted that long before being devoured. The pieces of stem ginger all sank to the bottom, which I don’t think mattered a bit, in fact it was rather decadent having them as a separate layer. Just make sure you line your cake tin with baking paper, or grease and flour it really well, to avoid any sticky situations. You could live without the lemon icing, but it does complement the cake flavours very nicely.
The scent that fills your home as this bakes is utterly divine. It is the very essence of domesticity and will make any visitors want to stay forever – so you may want to plan when you make it (or when you don’t) accordingly.
115g butter, margarine or soya spread
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup
115g molasses sugar
250ml milk or soya milk
2 tablespoons syrup from jar of stem ginger in syrup
225g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg
0.5 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
5 pieces (approx 100g) stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
For the icing:
50g golden icing sugar
juice of half a lemon
crystallised ginger, to decorate
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Put the butter, treacle, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and ginger syrup; set aside to cool.
Sieve together the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the chopped stem ginger.
Once the syrup mixture is cool, beat in the egg, then stir into the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Pour the batter, which will be quite runny, into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.
Sieve the icing sugar into a small bowl and gradually add enough lemon juice to produce a smooth, runny icing. Drizzle the icing over the cake in a lattice pattern (or whatever takes your fancy), then scatter some pieces of crystallised ginger on top for the perfect finish.