Baking for beginners: a good ol' ginger cake

I've made a promise to myself (and a new twitter friend Diane) that this time next year, I'll be a baking pro. It's been on my wishlist for so long, to be a great baker, mostly since I spent half my uni years wandering around town (mainly Bert's Homestore) instead of going to lectures. Anyone from Brighton will know of Bert's - they're a local bunch that sell the cutest retro baking tools ever. Check them out if you're ever in the area!

On to my first bake-off. A ginger cake. This is a brilliant recipe for anyone that wants to do something a little more challenging than your average sponge cake, and it tastes delish. Definitely a favourite of mine, I bloody love anything ginger.

Here goes!

Ingredients (for 6 chunky portions):

50g caster sugar
65g butter
1 egg
125ml treacle
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon salt
125ml hot water

1) Preheat the oven to 180degrees (gas mark 4) and lightly grease and flour any baking tin you can find.

Tip: Use a slice of kitchen roll dipped into the butter, to wipe all in the corners of the tray with less mess

2) In a big, large bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar. Then beat in the egg and mix in the treacle.

Check out the impeccable use of kitchen roll here, to save on the cleaning.

Treacle is insanely messy, be warned. I'm still finding bits stuck under my nails, so make sure you're really careful as you're dishing it out

3) Give the whole mixture a good stir with a wooden spoon. Try to get as many lumps out as you can, and don't be afraid to whack the bowl under your arm for maximum energy! (Just don't be stupid enough to wear a cream top, like I did)

4) Once that's done, measure out your flour and sift it all into a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda, the ginger, the cinnamon and the salt. Give it all a good mixing.

5) Next up, blend in the dry mixture into the treacle mix, and stir in the hot water.

6) You want to keep stirring your mixture til you get a nice smooth blend, whilst enjoying the swirly patters and ginger aromas. I salivated at this point. And ate loads.

7) Pour your creamy mixture into the greased baking tray. I used a loaf tray, because I'm amateur like that. Then pop it into the preheated oven for 1 hour and watch the magic happen.

Tip: Bake the ginger cake should be golden brown when it's ready to be cooled. Pierce a fork in its centre and if it comes out clean, it's cooked.

8) Give it about 20 minutes to cool down, then run a knife all the way around the sides so it drops out of the tray when supported upside down.

This bit is so bloody tricky. How does Nigella do it so effortlessly? 

9) Cut into slices and serve with custard maybe? Yum.

Let me know if you give this a go. I think next time a banoffee pie is on the cards. If you have any suggestions, send them my way, I'd love to hear them.


oh, and don't forget to follow me on bloglovin' !

Images by the very patient Neil William Shaw