Friday, 21 November 2008

Its never to early..

To be festive!

ginger cake 008

I saw this cake in the Observer Food Monthly magazine (it is a Nigel Slater recipe) and made it because I am feeling extremely excited about Christmas and this looked like a perfect early festive cake!

The cake smelt amazing whilst cooking because of the cinnamon and ginger, and looks lovely once its done. It only took 25 minutes to cook and I had the oven on quite low. Finally I spread the large amount of big pillowy Clementine icing on top and it was perfect! Once I had the icing on I popped it all in the fridge so the icing could set a bit and make it a bit easier to cut.

ginger cake 003 (My cake ingredients waiting to be turned into something delicious!)

A note about this icing: in the recipe it said 300ml of cream cheese, and of course on the cream cheese tub it is measured in grams. I put the whole tub of 200g of Philadelphia in and I was happy, but you might need more if you want it even thicker or less if you prefer it thinner.

I made quite a few substitutions in this recipe, not because I didn't think they would work but simply because I didn’t have the ingredients in. The main one was not including the diced ginger or ginger syrup. This made the cinnamon more prominent – not a bad thing in my eyes (or taste buds!) Then I used plain brown sugar instead of muscovado, which meant the cake wasn’t such a dark treacly colour. Finally, I used raisins instead of sultanas!

Maybe in future I would try with the ginger syrup etc. to get a much stronger ginger taste, or even go the other way and add extra clementine to the cake itself to make it extra fruity. Parts of the method for making this cake were similar to my last recipe. One last complaint is it uses lots of bowls, mixers, saucepans and spoons! Here is the link to the recipe for the cake! :)

(The finished cake, with the zest of one more clementine on top!)

ginger cake 012

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Cake and An Award!

What could be better?

tea bread 012

Mmmmm this tea bread was absolutely delicious! I wasn’t sure whether I would really like it but I definitely do. The recipe calls it a dark and sticky tea bread which is perfect for it – it is like a dark toffee cake in some ways. Making it was such fun as well because you boil sugar, sultanas, water and butter up with bicarbonate of soda! Like making honeycomb, it puffs up very high so if you make this watch it very carefully – just as the recipe suggests :) I liked this unusual technique of boiling everything together because the mixture goes from a very pale golden brown, gradually to a dark golden all the way through to a thick dark toffee-mixture. Also, the liquid rehydrates the raisins and they puff up like cranberries! The recipe says to cook for 1 1/2 hours, but I only did it 45 minutes and it was definitely done – in fact it probably could have had less.

tea bread 013

The recipe is from Frugal Food by Delia Smith. This book was originally published in 1976 ( I have the old version!) but Delia has recently republished it as a big hardback book – the same recipes but in more modern measurements. You can find the recipe here, on Delia Online.

Now, my award! I was thrilled to receive the I <3 Your Blog Award from Steph, of Obsessed With Baking. Steph started her blog a few months before I did and I urge you to go over and read it. She is a member of TWD and the Daring Bakers and makes lots of delicious things!


I am passing this award onto:

1. Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage

2. Tulip of Tulip’s Kitchen

3. Antonia of Food, Glorious Food!

4. Culinary Travels Of A Kitchen Goddess

5. Susan of Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

I hope they like it and thank-you again Steph!