Monday, 22 August 2011

Ginger and Treacle Spiced Traybake

Recipe Number Seventy Nine:  Page 186.

I have to admit that in my mind a ginger cake is more suited to a chilly winter’s day than a hot, sticky summer one. However, I had been fancying a ginger cake for a while, but I found it particularly difficult to choose a recipe. There are quite a few ginger cake variations throughout the Baking Bible so I was spoilt for choice. A picture accompanies this particular recipe, thus giving it an unfair advantage to those without and this was enough to twist my arm!

We needed to do a bit of shopping late afternoon, so I made a start just after lunch. I measured the flour, butter, baking powder and some spices into a bowl. I hate measuring out treacle as it is so sticky that I find it difficult to get an accurate measurement. Mary offers a very useful tip; weigh the treacle over the top of the sugar. I followed this advice and it worked really well. Only a tiny bit of treacle stuck to the bowl, yay! The calm was short lived as, when I came to add the milk, it appeared that we only had a dibble left. I was convinced I was going to have to gallop to the shop; I made a silent but desperate plea! Someone out there must have taken pity on me as I had exactly the amount required. Neil, though, was a bit miffed when he went to make a cup of tea! I added several eggs to the bowl and then, last of all, I retrieved the jar of stem ginger from the shelf and fished out a couple of slippery bulbs. With the first bulb of stem ginger I meticulously chopped it into tiny little pieces. The second bulb I was a little less fussy and by the third, well, the pieces were of various shapes and sizes!! The electric whisk was then put into action. At first I was worried as the whisking wasn't getting rid of the lumps. I eventually realised that these lumps were never going to go away as they were pieces of stem ginger! I poured the gingery cake mixture into my traybake tin and placed it in the oven. It cooked for just over half an hour and smelt heavenly!

I left the cake to cool on a wire rack while we drove into town. We had a quick look at the market show which was being held in the square. We visited the judging tent. Neil decided his tomatoes were better than the ones that had won third prize and I thought some of the cakes on display looked a bit dry (a bit harsh, I know)! Maybe I'll have a go next year with a Mary Berry cake. After a spot of shopping we travelled back home, feeling overheated and with much lighter pockets! After a sit down and a cup of tea I thought I had better get on and ice the cake.

I didn't need much icing sugar. This was just as well as I hate sifting the stuff. I re-opened the jar of stem ginger as I needed to use a few tablespoons of syrup for the icing. The resulting icing was very thick so I added a tiny bit more syrup. This did the trick and I could pour it over the cake. I was a little concerned as I barely had enough icing to cover the cake. I cut up yet more bulbs of stem ginger and sprinkled the pieces over the surface. It did make the cake look quite pretty. However, I was starting to worry how strong the ginger flavour was going to be as there was quite a lot of it! I recently found a great tip on another blog; to avoid getting cake crumbs in your icing, pour hot water over your sharp knife before making each slice (remember to wipe the knife in between). I found this really worked well. It did take longer, but I think it is worth it if you want to make neat slices. I was very keen to try this cake. I hoped it would live up to my expectations! I was really happy when I took a bite; the cake was very light and moist. The taste of ginger and treacle was quite strong but in a good way! I feel the icing is extremely important as it offers a refreshing, light sweetness, which I think is needed to cut through the strong flavours. All in all, an easy to make and easy to eat traybake. Delicious!
Very moreish!


  1. Looks fab Anneliese,my mouth is watering at the thought, I love ginger but unfortunately it doesn't like me, Heartburn like you wouldn't believe. X

  2. Thanks Jo, it was very moreish. Oh no, I thought ginger was meant to have soothing properties. Poor you, heartburn is awful, had it really badly when I was pregnant! xx

  3. that's looks lovely! I LOVE ginger but never really bake with it. Maybe I should give it a go x

  4. Thanks so much Nina :-) I love ginger, but don't use it nearly enough. Yes, you must have a go!! xx

  5. I must give this a go, I love gingerbread!

  6. Yes - try it Nicola! If you love gingerbread you will adore this!