“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Friday, 25 September 2009
I just love the flavour of ginger . . . all spicy and warm and oh-so-comforting. I know . . . I say that about a lot of things. I guess the truth is . . . I just love food!
I do have my favourite flavours though, and ginger happens to be one of them.
I love it dried and ground and baked into lovely cakes, cookies, and puddings.
I love it fresh and grated and added raw to salads, dressings and marinades.
I love it chopped and added to cooked dishes. A slice of it pounded and mixed with a piece of lemon and then steeped in some boiling water makes a marvelously healing tea when you are down with the sniffles . . . trust me.
I especially love it preserved . . . little round nuggets of ginger, preserved in a delicious syrup. It's delicious chopped and added to all sorts of baked goods. The syrup is fantastic when combined with butter and used to glaze carrots. I also love candied ginger, which is similar, but dry and coated in sugar. I just adore that plain and then dipped into dark chocolate . . . a once a year Christmas Treat just for me . . . okay, I'll share . . . I promise.
This fabulous cake uses it in two forms . . . both dried and ground, as well as preserved in syrup. This is easily one of our favourite cakes, and I hope it will become one of your favourites as well.
Don't you just love the autumn!!! That is when food like this comes into it's own. Ginger cake just suits autumn, no matter which way you cut it. (no pun intended)
*Spicy Ginger Traybake*
Makes 20 squares
We just love the warm and spicy flavours of this delicious cake. It is one of those one bowl, one step, wonderful cakes that tastes even better as the days go by. This is one of Todd's favourites! (He's just an old fashioned guy with old fashioned tastes!)
230g butter, softened (1 cup)
170g light muscovado sugar (13 1/2 TBS)
200g dark treacle (9 TBS)
312g self raising flour (2 3/4 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
4 large free range eggs
4 TBS milk
3 bulbs of preserved stem ginger, chopped finely
For the Icing:
130g icing sugar, sifted (1 cup)
3 TBS ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar
3 bulbs of preserved stem ginger, chopped coarsely
a bit of milk if necessary
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 12 by 9 inch traybake tin and line with parchment paper.
Weigh out all the cake ingredients and place into a large bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer until well blended. Spoon into the prepared baking sheet, smoothing the top over with a plastic spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until risen, lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, and the top springs back when gently touched. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan for several minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the ginger syrup. Beat with the mixer, adding milk as necessary until the icing is smooth and has a good spreading consistency. Spread over the cake, covering the top completely. Sprinkle the chopped stem ginger over top. Allow the icing to set completely before cutting into squares.