It was Nick’s birthday the other day and I was just dying to bake a cake. Any excuse. Unfortunately he’s a bit fussy when it comes to cake and has definite likes and dislikes, which can narrow my choice somewhat. Ginger cake is one of his few favourites.
So I spent ages leafing through my embarrassingly huge collection of recipe books to find the perfect ginger cake but most recipes were either too fussy and complicated for a man that just likes a simple ginger cake, or they were of the gingerbread variety that should have been made days before to enable the stickiness and flavours to develop.
With an enormous pile of books on the bedside table as I sipped my morning tea (retirement, I can recommend it heartily), I settled on a recipe in the gorgeous book, “Simply baking” by Sybil Kapoor. This book is stuffed full of well tried and tested recipes from various kitchens of the National Trust and I really can’t understand why I hadn’t noticed this one before.
It’s described as a fusion of gingerbread, parkin and flapjack and I would say that’s very accurate. It had the treacly gingeryness of gingerbread, the oatyness of parkin and the chewyness of flapjack. Truly a match made in heaven and an absolute hit with Nick who thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Highly praised and very highly recommended.
In fact, it beat the Bonfire Night Parkin that I made for a large gathering last weekend well into second place. The recipe I used for that was traditional but the end result was nowhere near as nice as this.
You can see this recipe and photo as it is in the book on a website here.
150 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed as that’s what we have)
40g black treacle
80g salted butter
55g plain flour
1½ tsp ground ginger (Nick reports that this is plenty)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarb
115g light muscovado sugar
40g dark muscovado sugar
100g porridge oats
In a small saucepan, put the treacle, butter and milk and heat gently until the butter is melted, stirring every so often. Set aside to cool slightly.
Grease and line a traybake tin that measures roughly 18 x 28 cm. Preheat the oven to 150°fan / gas mk 2½.
Sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a large bowl. Add the oats and sugar and mix well. Add the treacle mixture and mix again to combine thoroughly.
Pour into the tin and bake for 45 minutes. Cool in the tin.
Cuts into 8-12 slices, depending on how small or large you like your slices.