This cake is so amazing it's moved me to song; to paraphrase a song from a musical (bonus points for guessing the song!):
The most beautiful sound I ever heard
All the beautiful sounds of the world in two words – Ginger cake
Ginger cake - I just ate a cake named Ginger cake
And suddenly I bake - how wonderful a cake can be
Ginger cake - say it loud and there's music playing
Say it soft and it's almost like praying – Ginger cake
I'll never stop saying Ginger cake, Ginger cake, Ginger cake...
I do love ginger cake. I thought I’d seen it all but then this wonderful recipe came into my life. The difference with this recipe is that it doesn’t have that thick white icing that usually offsets the gingery heat; it has a glaze that part sinks into the cake and part sets as a thin crust on top. It’s divine! Just to point out so you can eat your cake accordingly, the glaze only stays crisp for a day after you make it, then it turns sticky and soft.
As soon as I found this recipe I knew I had to share – all the ginger cakes I post feature in my sites “most viewed” recipes list. What is it about that warm, mellow spice that has such a hold on our taste buds? As with most ginger cakes, the flavours develop over time so this cake offers continual rewards!
The cake is light and flavoursome – the ginger is strong but not overpowering. For a cake containing so many syrupy ingredients, the sponge is surprisingly soft and crumbly. What I’m going to say will sound contradictory to my previous sentence, but somehow it isn’t: the syrup and treacle are a dominant feature of this cake, making it more akin to a syrupy juicy cake with ginger highlights. It would be fab served warm as pudding with thick custard but I like it best at room temperature. How is manages to be crumbly and syrupy I can’t say – but try it for yourself and you’ll see exactly what I mean!
My tip? Make two – it’s the only way you’ll get a second slice!
For the cake:
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger (this gives a mild ginger flavour, next time I will double it to 4 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
100g black treacle
100g light brown sugar
50g stem ginger, finely chopped
For the glaze:
4 tablespoons ginger syrup from the jar of stem ginger
4 tablespoons boiling water
200g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.
Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Place the flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have bread crumbs. Put to one side
Place the golden syrup, black treacle, sugar and diced stem ginger into a large saucepan – it needs to be large because all the other ingredients will eventually be added to it.
Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved; you can tell this by looking for sugar crystals on the back of the spoon – if you can see them, you need to cook further.
Raise the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, then remove from the hob.
Beat the eggs and milk into the hot syrupy mixture.
Beat in the flour and butter crumbs.
Stir thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
Pour into the prepared cake tin (the mix will be runny) and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out virtually clean. Check after 40 minutes as mine was done at that point.
When the cake has almost finished baking make the glaze: beat together all the ingredients until they are smooth and well combined. Don’t expect it to be like icing – it will be much thinner and runnier.
When the cake is cooked, place it – still in its tin – on a wire rack and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Pierce the cake all over using a skewer and then pour over the glaze. Some will seep into the cake while the rest will harden and create a fine glaze on the cake.
Leave to cool and set completely before removing from the tin or serving.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.