Unless you've been living under a rock in these past few weeks, one can hardly escape the fact that we will soon, as a country, be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! Yes, our lovely Monarch has been on the throne for 60 years! She is one of the longest reigning British Monarchs! Marking 60 years of The Queen's reign, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will centre around an extended weekend on the 2, 3, 4 and 5 June. The only Monarch to have beaten her (thus far!) is Queen Victoria, who took to the throne in 1837 at age 18 and stayed there til her death in 1901!
All up and down this glorious country, people will be celebrating our beloved Queen . . . Elizabeth II . . . in true style! There will be street parties galore, and a host of other celebrations. I, for one, can hardly wait to watch the Thames Jubilee Pageant on the afternoon of Sunday the 3rd! Up to a thousand boats will muster on the river as The Queen prepares to lead one of the largest flotillas ever seen on the River Thames. And that's only one of the official celebrations planned. You can find out more about the various activities which will be going on here. It's truly amazing.
I, for one, am a proud Monarchist. I always have been, even before I moved over here to the UK. The day I actually got to see Buckingham Palace I swear . . . I literally cried. I just couldn't believe I was finally at Buckingham Palace!!
I think the Queen is just lovely, always have and always will.
Photo from the Direct Gov Newsroom.
Anyways, there is also no end to the special products that have been put out in limited editions, specifically to celebrate this most auspicious occasion. One only has to walk around the shops and you will see an abundance of Red, White and Blue all over the place! It's really quite wonderful!!
The people at Stone's Ginger Wine have put out a fabulously British Limited Edition of their infamous Green Ginger Wine, just for the occasion! It's a beautiful bottle, decorated with a special label on the front, designed especially for this once in a lifetime celebration! I was lucky enough to have been sent a bottle to try out.
Stone's Original Green Ginger Wine has been pleasingly popular in the UK for over 250 years now, since 1740, with many fantastical properties being attributed to it, from medicinal cures to "I can't mentionables"! It still uses the same traditonal ingredients that they used back then in it's modern day production.
It truly is a lovely bottle and, I believe, destined to become a collectible item in years to come. There's a special recipe on the back of this bottle as well, for a "Lemonade Cup."
Try two shots of Stone's in a tall glass, topped with chilled lemonade and lots of ice. For a seasonal twist, add a few slices of cucumber and any ripe fruit!
Sounds pretty good to me and, if I was a drinker, I'd certainly be game to try it out . . . but, I'm not . . . I'm a Mormon and we don't drink alchohol. It's a big no no . . . but I am certainly not adverse to cooking with it. My Bishop's wife down south used to cook with it all the time, and if it was ok for her to do it, I reckon it's probably ok for me to do it too!
And so, in honor of the Queen's Jubilee, and this lovely bottle of Stone's Ginger Wine, I baked us a delicious Gingered Coffee Cake. (We don't do coffee either, but there's no coffee in this cake. Only Ginger Wine. Coffee Cake is just a name used to describe a certain kind of cake which one would serve with hot drinks, such as coffee or tea, or hot chocolate even . . .)
It uses Ginger Wine as one of the ingredients in it's batter, which helps it to bake up nice and light and fluffy, with a slight ginger wine tang, that is not at all unpleasant. (Of course if you were not able to get Ginger Wine, you could use Gingerale with no problems.)
It bakes up beautifully . . . with a lovely crumbly, yet moist texture. There are bits of candied ginger stogged here and there throughout the batter . . .
I chose to top it with a beautiful gingery streusel topping, made with dark brown sugar, ginger, flour and butter. I added some crumbled ginger thin biscuits for extra crunch. It floats on the top like one of the Queen's beautiful hats!
Just look at that beautiful texture. Isn't that lovely!
I chose to gild the lily with a delicious drizzle icing which you could either use more of the Stone's in or lemon juice, whichever is your preference. Or maybe you may choose not to drizzle any frosting on it at all. It's all up to you!
In any case, it went down a real treat and I will definitely be making this again. I may even use the rest of the bottle to make a baked ginger pudding cake . . . or a Teriyaki type of stir fry. I haven't quite made up my mind yet.
*Gingered Coffee Cake*
Makes one 9 inch square cake
This is delicious served as an Elevenses treat or as an afternoon Coffee Break cake! Fabulous served either plain, or sliced and buttered. It's also a great cake for a late morning weekend Brunch!
140g caster sugar (a generous cup)
140g of unsalted butter, softened (2/3 cup)
2 medium eggs, beaten
360g self raising flour (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
250ml of Stone's Green Ginger Wine (1 cup)
4 TBS chopped candied ginger
For the Topping:
4 1/2 TBS plain flour
3 TBS dark soft brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 TBS cold butter
4 ginger thin biscuits, crumbled
130g of icing sugar, sifted (1 cup)
2 TBS of ginger wine, or enough to make a runny drizzle icing
(You can also use lemon juice if you want)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 inch square baking tin and line it with parchment paper, allowing a bit of an overhang.
First make the topping, Rub together the flour, sugar, ginger and butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Add the crumbled biscuits. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar for the batter, until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, a bit at a time. Whisk together the flour, salt and chopped ginger. Stir this in alternately with the ginger wine until you have a nice batter. Spoon into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand in the tin for about 10 minutes before lifting out (using the baking paper for handles) onto a wire rack to cool completely. \If making the optional glaze icing, whisk the ingredients together now until you have a smooth drizzable icing. Drizzle over the cake haphazardly. Allow to set. Serve cut into squares or sliced and buttered (if desired.) Delicious!
Many thanks to Frank PR and the people at Stone's for having afforded me this opportunity.