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Homemade Gingerbread ! ©

November 18, 2012

Home made Gingerbread, there is nothing like it! It is absolutely delicious and just thinking about it makes me want to go and make it straight away, so here goes!

This is for Trish. Her parents were truly wonderful cooks and I was fortunate enough to be invited out from Boarding School on several occasions and will never forget all the lovely meals I enjoyed in their home. Food was an important part of their lives, the best of English and French, Italian, Indian anything that took their fancy and it was an inspiration for me. Both husband and wife cooking that was fairly unusual in those days and they judged each other on the final result and this was very educative, because it made one realize how important it is to  take time to taste and taste again, like sampling a good wine, and there was a wonderful selection of that too! The perfect match was chosen diligently and what could be better than dinning with two expert cooks and wine specialists in the warmth of their beautiful home…..those were the days!

This is a good cake to make at Christmas time to have on hand when friends drop by.

 

Category 2. Melted Cakes

 

Unlike other raw cake mixtures,

a melted mixture has a pouring

consistency, similar to a thick batter.

When baked the cakes have a close

texture, are moist and quite rich.

This is like making a giant mud pie!

It is fun to make, even if a little time

consuming, the result is well worth it.

 

It makes a 23 cm square Cake

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

 

Oven 180.C

 

Cooking time: 1.1/4 hrs

 

Ingredients

450 g Plain Flour

1 tbs ground ginger powder

1 tbs Baking powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1 tsp Salt

225 g Demerara Sugar

175 g butter

175 g black treacle

175 g golden syrup

300 ml milk

1 large egg

* Special equipment : Gingerbread tin 23 cm square, 5 cm deep.

** There are 3 main categories of flour on the market:

1. Plain Flour: For cake making,pastry etc.

2. Self Raising Flour: Where the baking powder has already been added.

3. Strong Flour: For making Bread and Pizza Dough, usually using yeast as a raising agent.

 

Method

1. Turn Oven on to 180.C. Place shelf 1/3rd up in oven.

2. Grease and line with grease -proof paper a 23 cm square cake tin, or oven-proof dish, about 5 cm deep.

3. Sift all the dry ingredients, except the sugar into a large bowl.

4. Place your small saucepan on the scales and zero the counter. Pour in your sugar, followed by golden syrup to the required weight, followed by the treacle. If you over pour you can remove a little with a spoon. Do this as described, otherwise it is difficult to measure out the sticky liquids correctly.

5. Place your saucepan on a medium heat and add your weighed butter. Stir until just melted. Remove from heat.

6. In a bowl, lightly beat your egg and add the milk.

7. Using a wooden spoon, make a ‘well’ (hole) in the center of your dry ingredients.

8. Pour into the ‘well’ your melted ingredients, followed by the egg and milk.

9. Using a large balloon whisk stir in the center of your ‘Well,’ slowly enlarging your circle, so that the dry ingredients are gently incorporated, with out forming lumps. If lumps do form, beat vigorously in the center to break them up. The mixture should gently thicken and this should take up to 5 minutes, so do not hurry. Your circular movements will get bigger and bigger, until all the dry ingredients at the sides of the bowl are incorporated.

10. Pour into your pre-prepared cake tin and place in the center of your pre-heated oven.

11. After about half to three quarters of an hour the cake may begin to smell as if it might be burning. If it over darkens on top, which it easily does, due to the treacle, just slide in a sheet of grease- proof paper on top of your cake, opening the oven as briefly as possible to do so. ( As you all know, never open the oven door when baking a cake, or the cold air will cause it to drop. This can only be done towards the end of the cooking time and should be done as quickly as possible, for example in order to test if it is done. Never take cake out of the oven, test in oven.)

12. When the cake has been cooking for an hour test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, cake is ready, if not, leave another 5-10 minutes.

13. Remove from oven, turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.

14. When it has cooled, remove paper, thus having kept the moisture in,( important.) Turn up right and when completely cold, store in an air tight tin.

Gingerbread improves with keeping as they used to say and this is a wonderfully old fashioned recipe.

N.B. When making cakes follow instructions ‘precisely,’ small changes which you might not think matter, will not give a good result.

When measuring spoons are used and the word ‘level,’ is not specified, always make it ‘level.’ If they mean

‘heaped,’ it will say so.

Butter and line cake tin or oven-proof dish with grease-proof paper 23 cm square, 5 cm deep.

Weigh out ingredients with precision. If you have a non-digital weighing machine always check before

weighing that you have adjusted it to ‘zero.’

Sieve flour into large mixing bowl. This is the first sieving, all dry ingredients should be sieved twice when

making a cake it really adds to the lightness! ( Except for the coarse brown sugar…)

Add 1 level tablespoon ginger powder,for this recipe, only powdered ginger is suitable.  ( Note the word

‘level,’, not heaped!

Add 1 level tablespoon of Baking Powder.

Add 1 level ‘teaspoon’ of Soda. Be careful not to mix the quantities up here.

Sieve altogether again, ‘second sieving,’ to mix together ingredients and add more air to your Gingerbread.

Wonderful English Lile’s Black Treacle and Golden Syrup to be found in most International Supermarkets

in the sugar section. They are unique and can not be substituted, if you want the original flavor.

Place small saucepan on scales, deduct weight of saucepan and add specified weight of sugar, butter, golden

syrup and treacle.

Make a ‘well’ in the center of your flour mixture.

Pour in melted sugar syrups.

Add lightly beaten egg and milk.

Starting in the center of your well stir with your whisk in circular movements and slowly the surrounding

flour will be incorporated. Do not hurry this process, so that the flour amalgamates slowly to form a thick

paste in the center.

Slowly but surely you make ever widening circles, until you reach the edges. If any lumps do form beat

vigorously.

Here one is about half way through the process.

Give a final vigorous whip to your mixture to ensure there are no pockets of flour.

Pour mixture into prepared baking container. The grease-proof paper is essential in this recipe, so that it

does not stick.

Once cooking time has been reached, test with a skewer in the center, pressing down to the bottom. If skewer

comes out clean, Gingerbread is ready. If not leave a little longer, 5 minutes. You don’t want to over cook

your Gingerbread, as you are aiming for a nice moist cake.

YUMMY!

Place rack on top of tin and turn out. Leave to cool with grease-proof paper on, so as to keep moisture in.

Remove grease-proof paper carefully and turn the Gingerbread the right way up.

Leave to cool on a cake rack.

Now if you are like me and can’t wait….cut your self a slice and divide it into four.

Place the rest in an air tight tin, once the gingerbread is completely cold. Each day it increases in flavor….

if it lasts that long!

The texture is light and moist and the taste is delicious.

Serve on its own or with whipped cream or ice cream!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nectar Leylekian Derghazarian permalink
    November 18, 2012 3:58 pm

    Good Morning Jane
    I love the way you explain in details the steps of baking the cake and the pictures that go along with it Thank you soo much I will try baking it as soon as I find all the ingredients .
    Ef kharisto poli !

    Like

    • November 18, 2012 7:01 pm

      I am so glad you like the explanation. I try to ensure my new cooks have a first time success, to reward their efforts and it provides a quick reminder to the experienced cooks. There is nothing like a well made home baked cake!
      I hope you are successful in finding the ingredients.

      Like

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