A very guest friendly ginger cake

I think there is a fine line between capturing a moment and killing it. It goes something like this:

“Beautiful laughter kids, can you just tickle her again now I’ve got the lens cap off?”

“Erm, can we re-hide the Easter Eggs so I can take pictures now the sun is out?”

“Sorry I know the food is going cold, I just need to find the best light for a blog shot.”

My parents have been over from England this Easter. It’s been a brilliant few days  and we’ve enjoyed some stunning food. We’ve made some moreish salads, clean eating dressings, pestos, mayos and chutneys. But I didn’t forget to turn out the classic Easter indulgences, not withstanding this Easter cake and some Easter egg action.

We also sampled some absolute delights out and about. I was lucky enough to order the most amazing prawn carpaccio and devour the freshest tuna tartare of my life. We’ve savoured some lively young white wines and the olds ordered some sensational looking deserts.

I wanted to pause some moments. I wanted everyone to poise perfectly or better still, shuffle away from their plates so I could grab the magic snap. As food left our kitchen I wanted to pull it back and pretend it wasn’t quite ready. But I didn’t. I let go. I enjoyed the moment with my own senses – not the image we’d be left with afterwards.

On that note, I didn’t get a picture of this cake in action. Once the tea was poured, the plates were out and the knife went in, there was no serene Homes and Garden snap to be had. There was some table wobbling, a jostle for the eggs on the top and a some fingers and thumbs in the buttercream.

ginger cake_1

I’m trusting the feedback I’ve had on this beautifully moist, crowd pleaser. It’s a doddle to make and it actually gets better if you make in advance and leave it for a few days. This means its perfect to make ahead of guests coming and will serve well over 2 or 3 days of their visit. I have made this countless times and always had a positive response from adults and children alike.

It’s taken from a James Martin Parkin recipe on the BBC website. I tend to increase the ginger to 2 or 3 teaspoons and I also like to swap out some of the syrup for blackstrap molasses. It makes it a darker and richer cake.

Here is what you will need:

  • 225g / 8oz self raising flour
  • 110g / 4oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I use 2 – 3)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg
  • 200ml / 7fl oz milk
  • 55g /2oz butter
  • 110g /4oz golden syrup (I swap out up to half of this and mix in blackstrap molasses)

It’s so easy to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line or grease a 22cm/8in round tin.
  2. Sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
  3. In a small pan gently heat the butter and syrup until melted.
  4. Beat the egg into the milk.
  5. Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour and stir. The mixture will be thick.
  6. Pour in the egg and milk and stir until smooth and pour into the lined tin.
  7. Bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Once cool ice with buttercream – be as frugal or generous as you feel. The buttercream is made from an equal measure of icing sugar to butter. Using and electric whisk whip up till soft and fluffy.
  9. OR Wrap in foil or clingfilm and keep for a few days before icing. No eggs needed on top, other than for Easter of course.

So Easter is over for another year.  We caught some of our magic moments on film. But as always in life, for the main part we can’t snap all our our triumphs, joy or moments of madness. We need to learn how to capture these moments in our hearts where we keep them safe and unspoiled forever.