Thursday, 23 April 2015

Sticky Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing

So I was sneaking a piece of this ginger cake from the kitchen when I realised that I hadn't written a blog for OVER A MONTH. 

There's a lot going on, of which more, I hope, in a few weeks when 'the lot' has concluded and I can tell you all about it (I expect you are intrigued now).

I don't know why I was sneaking the cake, because there was no one else in the house, and only my thighs will tell the tale but anyway, there I was taking a guilty bite of this delicious thing and realised that it just had to be shared with the world before, like everything else I've made, my culinary adventures, in the last few weeks, it's been eaten and forgotten, a blissful memory... The ramson pesto, in all its green, wild-garlicky glory, for example,

the crumpets I made (so chuffed), 

the brilliant burger, 

and, of course, THE LOBSTER will simply have to wait - may be even till next year - only immortalised in my Instagram feed until then...

It's not just 'the lot' either ('the lot' that I don't want to jinx by talking about it)  - generally life has been incredibly busy. We've also had the Easter holidays, visitors, and just the most beautiful run of weather. And because everyone says "Oh, yes, Wales, well it's bound to rain again soon", you just have to get out and make the most of it. Not, exactly, a hardship, when getting out and making the most of it involves lots of this

and plenty of that

and quite a bit more of the other, 

but I'm starting to think that this is part of a conspiracy to keep this most fantastic of places a secret. Sorry if I've just blown it, but, honestly, this is the most stunning place, and the weather is not nearly as bad as you might have been led to believe...

But back to the blogging, I am afraid I've been spending a lot of time on the beach, my floors are covered in a fine dusting of sand, and I've gone a little bit more native and taken up crochet. I won't, you'll be pleased to hear, start blogging about the crochet, but neverthless, it's eating in to time I'd otherwise have spent tapping away.

This cake however, fits perfectly with the season and the weather. It's ideal beach cake, I made a slab of it to take camping with friends last weekend on the Gower. A combination of Martin Dorey's The Campervan Cookbooks' sticky ginger treacle cake, and Nigella's fresh ginger bread from Domestic Goddess, it's old fashioned and delicious and just what you want to eat with a cup of tea after a day on the beach.

Sticky Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing

200 ml semi-skimmed milk
3 tbsp black treacle
100g butter
75g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cinammon
200g soft brown sugar
125g oats
A good chunk (maybe 3 inches or so) fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated

Juice of half a lemon (although you may not need all of it)
175g icing sugar

Grease & line a 20cm square cake tin, and pre-heat the oven to 150C (130C fan)

Tip the milk into a small pan. Add the treacle and butter and slowly bring to the boil so that everything melts into the milk.

Keeping an eye on the pan, sieve the flour, bicarb and cinammon into a large bowl, and mix in the sugar and oats. 

When the butter & treacle has melted into the milk, add the grated ginger, give it a quick stir and pour into the flour mixture, then stir to combine.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes.

Leave to cool in the cake tin, then make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar then slowly mix in the lemon juice to make a thick, spreadable icing - not too runny, you want a layer on the top (preferably one you can leave teeth marks in) rather than dribbles down the side - and smear it over the cake. When the icing has hardened, cut the cake into 16 pieces, wrap in greaseproof paper and head out.