August 2, 2014

GINGER CAKE

ginger cake9aWe moved house eight weeks ago and after three weeks abandoned ship and went to France to continue our house hunting adventures there.  Consequently we are not as far forward as we would have been if we had stayed here and continued diligently working our way through the mountain of cardboard boxes.

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The kitchen is brand new and, although beautiful to look at, its size is a proving to be a challenge.  We have moved stuff from cupboard to cupboard over and again in order to find the sensible places to store things in a way that makes best use of the space.

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I like my new larder unit but added a couple of extra shelves to get all my baking stuff in it. ginger cake4 The new dining set arrived this week, which makes mealtimes much more comfortable than the old garden chairs.  The “dining area” is simply a space at the end of the kitchen next to the fridge, but it has a nice view over the garden.

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The open view at the back of the house is one of the main reasons that we bought it.  Being able to sit outside and look at the view has been a real joy during the stressful process of downsizing and moving – which is exhausting, mentally, emotionally and physically.  Sitting outside with a glass of something nicely chilled at the end of the day has been great therapy!

ginger cake6However, as you can see, we’re not out of the woods yet! 

ginger cake7 We are not very thrilled with the new oven.  In fact Nick absolutely hates it, and the hob.  Although brand new they are both very basic models and we have promised ourselves that once the dust settles, if there is enough left in the kitty, we will have new ones of our own choosing.

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Anyway, I had been itching to bake a cake, new oven or not.  I had successfully made several crumbles and a rather delicious blackberry and apple sponge – a version of Eve’s pudding made using dessert apples and blackberry jam – so I thought it was time to bite the bullet and just do it.

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Nick chose the recipe.  It’s called “preserved ginger cake” and he found it in my copy of “Delia’s Cakes”.  That in itself was another challenge.  Most of my cookbooks were still in cardboard boxes until a few days ago.  We couldn’t empty the boxes until we built some flatpack Ikea furniture to house other stuff that was in other boxes on top of the boxes they were in.  If you see what I mean.

Another challenge was getting all the ingredients ready.  It took me over half an hour to find all the bits and pieces and the right tin, but I have to say it was a tremendous success.  The cake was moist and light with an even crumb and a good ginger flavour.   I am very chuffed to have made my very first cake in my brand new kitchen in my new house. 

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You can see the recipe here.  I decided not to put any icing on it as we were to be taking slabs of it as part of a packed lunch for a day out.  It’s a great picnic cake, tasty and easy to pick up and eat.  For that reason I am entering it into this month’s Teatime Treats, organised by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Jane of The Hedgecombers.  Karen is in charge this month, which is all about picnic food, and you can see the details here.

15 comments:

  1. I see the new garden shed has been erected. How long do you think it will take before you get time to paint it?

    The cake looks great, and your photos are really professional looking. Baking in a new oven is always a challenge.

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    1. Susan, the arrival of the shed has greatly improved our lives!
      Our lawnmower and garden tools are now housed in a place of relative safety instead of under a tent on the lawn!
      According to the manufacturers we don't have to paint it or do anything to it until next spring as it came ready treated with preservative. Thank goodness!
      The new oven is, I'm afraid, doomed.

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  2. I can feel the pain in your words but it really is all about time. That kitchen will suddenly find it's own feet (although why people don't think about a decent oven is beyond annoying) and you'll take solace in that endless view. Cake looks wonderful. Fill that home with baking!!

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  3. Ginger cake is a favourite in our house, but I've made it less since Tom has been in Japan. His favourite cakes are lemon and ginger. No doubt he'd be in heaven with a lemon drizzle ginger cake!!

    Setting in will take time, but are you past the phase where you think you are living in someone else's house? It must have taken a couple of years for me to get past that stage in LPP.

    Love the dining furniture. Our ovens have always been of the more basic kind. The good thing with them is that they never last very long!!

    Love the open space around your garden. Just right to look out on with that glass of something chilled...

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  4. It looks a really nice house and I envy you the kitchen!! Wish ours had that many cupboards. I've just counted up and yours outnumbers ours. Seriously though, it looks lovely and don't be too despondent, you need to live in the place for a few months at least before you get a proper feel for where things will permanently live. In the meantime, enjoy the thrill of the chase and don't forget to sound the horn when you find what you're looking for!! x

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    1. Elizabeth, one of the cupboards is the dishwasher and several of the others are extremely shallow because the kitchen is cleverly designed to hide various bits of boxed in plumbing and electrics. Consequently they only house one four-pack of Heinz beans or a pile of mugs!
      Also, there are cupboards which are almost unusable except for storing things you don't need very often, as you have to get down on your hand and knees with a torch to find and get them out!
      The kitchen looks good but is "deceptively unspacious"!

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  5. ps. Colin has just asked me when do I think I will stop moving things round in the kitchen because he can never find what he wants......

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    1. Elizabeth, that's an effective way to maintain the air of mystery and excitement in a relationship!

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  6. Jean.... There are MUCH BETTER ways.... Col

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    1. Colin, I'm sure I have no idea what you mean..........!!

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  7. Oh dear, I am behind the times. Hadn't realised you were in the throws of moving and moving in France at the same time? Wish you all the best in your new home, despite the oven issue. And good luck with house hunting in France too. I've made this cake and it's a good one. Time I made it again I think.

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  8. Lovely cake and congrats on the move!

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  9. Ouch, I feel your pain about the inadequacy of the kitchen and oven, Jean. However beautiful it looks, we can never know how a kitchen will work for us until we start using it. The ginger cake looks scrumptious and you have a lovely view as you enjoy it.

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  10. I wish you luck in your house hunting Jean and maybe you could look at places near us in the Charente Maritime? The kitchen looks wonderful and I am sure you will adapt to the kitchen soon enough......ah, I have just seen you have already bought a house! In France? Where? Great cake too, and anything with ginger in it as my name on it Jean as I am a ginger addict! Karen

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    1. Karen, we have a little holiday home in the Loire and are looking for something bigger and more permanent.
      If you would like to see what we have looked at so far, try here:
      http://averygrandpressigny.blogspot.co.uk/

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