What’s our culinary solution to the holiday madness? Ginger cake. Versatile and deeply nostalgic, a moist molasses-y ginger-y slice is as irresistible with a mid morning cup of coffee as it is for a teatime treat or a festive dessert.
So, if over this merry period either your house is full of a steady stream of guests or you are inundated with invitations to others, this warming spiced ginger cake is your saviour. Easy to assemble and even better after a few days of mellowing, it is the perfect seasonal kitchen accessory or home made gift.
Or, you can avoid the festivities completely, take a leaf out of our books and flee the cold for warmer waters. Wherever you are celebrating this year, we hope it is filled with colourful deliciousness, joy and laughter. Thank you for joining us on our 2018 food journey. We look forward to delivering some delectable recipes and ideas into your inboxes next year.
All photos in this post by Jeremy Coleman
Three Ginger Cake
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz and Claire Ptak, with added genius of stem ginger from Justin Gellatly and Annie Bell, adding another level of complexity and slightly sweetening the fiery fresh ginger.
80g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
40g stem ginger
2 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar
200g mild molasses
50g golden syrup
150g caster sugar
50g dark muscovado sugar
250ml vegetable oil (I have also used olive oil in a pinch and it worked)
350g plain flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice, or when they are in season, the same amount of juice from half a clementine
Grease and line a 23cm springform or loose bottomed cake tin with oil/butter and parchment. (You can also make this in mini cake or loaf tins for gifts).
Finely chop the fresh and the stem ginger either by hand or in a magimix and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the molasses, golden syrup, stem ginger syrup, sugars and oil.
In another bowl, combine the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and stir together.
Bring a small saucepan with the water to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda and immediately add to the molasses/sugar/oil mixture and stir together to completely incorporate all the ingredients. Add the chopped gingers.
Pour the flour mixture over the sugar mixture and stir together, careful to always stir in the same direction (this ensures a lump free batter. Thank you Claire Ptak for this life changing tip).
Add the eggs and mix until fully amalgamated into the batter.
Cover the bowl with cling film and allow the mixture to sit for an hour (or up to 2 hours). A new minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 160C.
Give the batter one last stir and pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for about an hour (check after 50 minutes but could take upto 70 minutes depending on your oven). The top should be springy to the touch and a cake tester should come out clean. Allow to cool in the pan.
When ready, run a knife around the edge of the pan to release it. Gently invert the cake onto a plate or rack to remove the parchment from underneath and then re-invert onto a serving plate.
This cake keeps beautifully for at least 5 days, un -iced, wrapped in cling film, and actually tasted much better as the days go on, getting sticker, darker and producing a more complex flavour and crumb.
If you want to ice the cake (this is simply for vanity as it is equally as satisfyingly moreish without), stir together the icing sugar and citrus juice of choice and mix until it is smooth enough to spread on the cake. Allow to drip down the sides (this is not an exercise in perfection) and enjoy.