There are two cakes which remind me of school – chocolate concrete and this, gingerbread with icing.
Chocolate concrete was usually served with pink custard which was dished up in giant, slightly battered metal jugs.
Iced gingerbread didn’t need anything with it, it was perfect on it’s own.
It’s the sort of cake that, when you cook it at home, fills your kitchen with the most delicious, deep, intoxicating smells. Unless of course, you’re my mother who doesn’t like the smell of ginger . . . and popped in right at the wrong moment! I think she was hoping for chocolate cupcakes.
Anyway, I didn’t make this for her, I made it for the husband who loves gingerbread cake.
So he will come home after a day at work to a house smelling like a cake factory and a slice of his favourite treat.
I’m counting up those brownie points as we speak.
So if you too fancy a trip down memory lane or just want to try them for the first time, here is a Mary Berry Gingerbread tray bake. I like it because it’s simple, old fashioned and sticky as anything. If yours sinks slightly in the middle don’t worry it’s still perfect – just don’t let it cook too much on the edges or it will spoil the gorgeously moist cake.
275g golden syrup
275g black treacle
225g light muscovado sugar
225g butter, at room temperature
450g self-raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tbsp milk
For the icing
225g icing sugar
2 tbsp water
50g crystallised or stem ginger, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 160 C and grease and base line a 30 x 23cm roasting tin with greased greaseproof paper.
2. Measure the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the fat has melted. If you struggle measuring out the treacle because it’s so thick and sticks to the scales, measure it out on top of the sugar and then it’s much easier to get into the pan.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. Stir in the flour and spices until totally incorporated. If lumps starts to form, just keep stirring until they disappear.
4. Add the eggs and the milk and beat well until mixed in and smooth. By now the mixture looks like a brown, gloopy mess! But it smells lovely.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
6. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. To make the icing, add the water to the icing sugar in a bowl a little at a time and mix until you get a smooth, spreadable paste. If you are using stem ginger to decorate, you can use some of the liquid from the jar here instead of water. You can also mix the chopped ginger in now or wait until you have iced the cake and then sprinkle the ginger over the top.
8. Leave to set and then cup into squares. Or giant oblongs like me, if you’re feeling generous.
Recipe is from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book.