Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Ginger cake is Happiness Cake

After I had a happy surprise recently I decided to make a Happiness Cake to celebrate.  For me this is Ginger Cake.  It's too good to keep to myself, so here is the recipe:

50 gm crystallized ginger roughly chopped (2 oz)
50 gm walnuts - roughly chopped (2 oz)
50 gm sultanas (2 oz)
125 gm butter (4 oz)
125 gm sugar (4 oz - about half a cup)
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoons of mixed spice
2 eggs
225 gm standard or plain flour ( 8 oz - about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of baking soda

Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius, (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Oil and flour your tin.  I use a ring tin. 
Chop the crystallized ginger and walnuts and measure out the sultanas.  Chopping them roughly gives the cake a good texture and nice contrasts when eating.  Set all these to one side.
Cream butter, sugar and golden syrup together, and then add the spices. If the butter is firm or hard I grate it, place it into a mixing bowl and stand that in a sink of hot water until it's nice and soft.  For the best results you want the butter to go soft, creamy and pale, but not to melt.
Spices added at this stage will give more flavour. 
I beat the eggs in a small bowl, and then sift the flour and baking powder into another large bowl.  Baking soda is added to the milk in its cup and stirred briskly to dissolve it. 
Everything can then be added together according to what suits you best.  I add the fruit last.
Scoop the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

It will be fairly firm on top when fully cooked, and smell simply delicious!
It's most scrumptious when warm, so don't delay. 
If eating it once it has got cold, it can be reheated in the microwave for 20 seconds per slice and taste quite fresh once more. 
In the unlikely event of having some to put away in the cake tin it does keep well.  It can also be frozen. If freezing consider slicing it first.

For a special treat I like it best served with whipped cream and preserved pears.  If you have visitors for the occasion they will always happily eat more, so don't put out more than you are happy parting with!
Sorry, no photo as we scoffed the lot!

People seem to have really liked the cakes they've made with this recipe.  
One reader made a variation of it using soft dates in place of sultanas and 'spelt' flour in place of the usual wheat flour.   She comments that it was nice and light and more-ishly delicious the next day.  She particularly liked it hot with yoghurt as a dessert.  Thanks for your comments, Helen!


Rachel said...

It was YUMMY!

Leigh said...

That's a solid endorsement, Rachel, thank you!

Grace Dalley said...

Oh that's very funny about the photo ;-)