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Sticky Ginger cake - freezes well - Christmas treat

I've always liked sticky ginger cake and in my teens had a few goes at making it - I repeatedly produced a brick with a sunken center in a small loaf tin, not good.  I recently spent some time talking to a lady that does a lot of baking for Macmillan coffee mornings. She gave me a recipe that freezes really well, so she can make the cakes up to three months in advance and simply defrosts them the night before and all the stress of baking to a deadline is gone in, well more to the point, without a 'puff of smoke'. This cake makes your house smell amazing.

I baked this as a tray bake, the first we ate straight away and over the following few days - ginger cake always tastes best a few days old. The second went in the freezer for a party. Both turned out well - no sign of sunken centers - hurrah.

125g unsalted butter
125g light muscovado sugar
85g golden syrup
85g black treacle
200ml milk
3 pieces stem ginger - chop finely then crush with the flat of a knife to get a pulp, unless you like chunks of ginger in your cake
1 tbsp ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar
250g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease and line a tin (23cm or 9")
2. Place the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle and milk in a saucepan
3. Finely chop / mush the stem ginger and add to the saucepan with a tablespoon of the ginger syrup from the jar
4. Place the saucepan over a gentle heat until the ingredients have combined, stirring occasionally
5. Once the ingredients are all combined, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes
6. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl.  Use a large bowl as the mixture will 'swell' when the wet ingredients are added
7.  Add the eggs to the bowl then gradually begin to combine the eggs and flour - then start to add the contents of the saucepan slowly, stirring with a whisk as you go
8. Once the ingredients have been mixed together pour the mixture into the tin. Don’t worry if there are a few small lumps in the mixture, but there shouldn’t be any large lumps remaining
9. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until the cake is risen and a dark golden brown colour. Test to see if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre and checking if it comes out clean
10. OPTIONAL - depending on how sticky you want it - prick all over with a skewer. Brush the top with a little more ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar or some golden syrup if you aren’t using the stem ginger
11. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely
The options after this are great -
  • Slice and serve immediately
  • Serve warm with custard or ice cream
  • Drizzle with a little white icing in a simple 'zig zag' pattern (mix icing sugar and water until you get a consistent that doesn't run too much). Best if you haven't gone for the extra sticky top option
  • Freeze
This cake will store in the tin for a couple of weeks - as long as you hide the tin, otherwise no hope at all of it lasting that long.

Naked cake - no icing, no extra sticky topping
To freeze - once completely cooled wrap in grease proof paper. Then wrap in a layer of foil. To defrost remove the foil and place on a wire wrack, leaving wrapped in the paper. Once defrosted open the paper and let any final moisture evaporate off.

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