I finally (finally!) went out and bought a mixing bowl yesterday. And some measuring spoons. And the most awesome measuring cups I’ve seen in ages. Look! They’re matryoshka dolls! How cool?
So I can finally get baking! (So long as it fits into my tiny oven in the tiny rectangular baking tin I have.)
The Christmas magazines are out already. What I love about Christmas, well one of the many things I love about Christmas, is that I get two Christmas issues of the magazines I love. One in November and one in December. It’s brilliant. And it’s totally put me into a festive mood. (I bought mince pies on Friday. There’s no going back now.) One of the great things about this time of year is the excuse to make my house smell like Christmas. All ginger, cinnamon, clove goodness which never smells quite the same at other times of the year. It’s why I bake Christmas cake. There’s only about 2 people in my family who actually eat it but I feel compelled to bake it every year regardless because of the way it makes the entire house smell. It’s still a few weeks from stir-up Sunday but such was my craving for ginger-spiced goodness that last night I decided to try out a recipe for chocolate ginger cake.
The recipe comes from one of my favourite books, Feast, by Nigella. It’s the only book that made the packing cut and I’m very pleased it did. I use it for inspirational purposes and if I’m having a bad day I leaf through it slowly and salivate over all the wonderful things it contains. One chapter is called the Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame and I mean, who couldn’t love a book with chapters like this one? The ginger cake is dense and sticky and contains surprise pieces of chocolate which elevate it above a regular ginger cake – in my opinion anyway.
Using the oven proved to be quite an adventure and I burnt the one half of the top of the cake by accident – that is, I didn’t obey my instincts and cover the top of the cake with foil when I smelt burning sugar. (Clearly one half of the oven is much much hotter than the other.) It’s surprisingly tasty despite the burnt side, which I’m willing to overlook. It’s perfect with tea – I had a sneaky slice for breakfast this morning – at any time of day. I suspect it will become a regular feature in my repertoire, particularly because I think it’ll make a great base for things like sundaes and trifles. Oh the possibility.
Oh and a side note: Nigella uses scale based amounts in her recipe but I haven’t yet bought a scale. The measuring cups were a big step in the right direction but a scale is an investment… So, I guesstimated the amounts (below) adjusting to what I thought was correct. (The butter measurement I used with the help of the markings on the butter wrapper.) It worked out okay for me but if you’re fearful, consult the original article. I also made half the amount she does because I have a mini oven and a mini baking tray.
Chocolate Chip Ginger Cake
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
1/4 c demerera sugar
1 T caster sugar
1/2 c golden syrup
1/2 c black treacle
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 170C and line a rectangular baking tray (28cm by 22cm) with baking paper.
Heat the above ingredients in a saucepan until melted then take off the heat and allow to cool.
1/2 c milk
Mix these together and set aside.
1/2 c plain flour
2 T cocoa
1 t baking powder
Sift these (if you’re so inclined) into a bowl.
Once the sugar mixture is cool, mix in the egg/milk mixture and then pour this onto the flours. Whisk until smooth. The mixture is very runny and pourable.
Mix in 100g dark chocolate chips. (I just chop up some good quality dark chocolate because I dislike chocolate chips – they tend to be poor quality chocolate.)
Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin and bake for 30 minutes until risen and cooked through. Allow to cool in a tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy.