Recipe 183 – Sticky Ginger and Orange Cake

It’s another one of those dreaded ginger cakes.  In my opinion there are too many ginger cakes in this book!  As you all know I don’t particularly like ginger cakes (unless it’s of the Jamaican variety) and as I’ve said before (and above) there are rather a lot in this book and to be honest they are very, very similar!

Anyway, I need to get another one baked, otherwise I am going to be left with about six ginger cake recipes to bake at the end and even though my husband loves ginger cake, I think even he would be fed up if I fed him six in a row!!

Mary says if possible to leave this cake wrapped up for two days before icing it as it will allow the cake to become moist and sticky.  Now that sounded promising, that is exactly how a ginger cake should be.

The oven was put on to preheat at 160°C and a deep 23cm (9″) round cake tin was lightly greased and the base and sides lined with parchment.

Into a saucepan I measured 100g golden syrup and 100g black treacle, together with 250ml water.  I was quite pleased to see that there didn’t appear to be too much black treacle going in, 100g didn’t seem very much compared to other recipes I have already baked.  This was put on the hob and brought to the boil.

Whilst waiting for the syrupy mixture to boil into a bowl I weighed out 100g softened butter, 100g caster sugar, 1 large egg (beaten), 275g plain flour, grated rind of an orange, 1.5 level tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 level tsp ground cinnamon and 1 level tsp ginger.  These were beaten together (with a wooden spoon) until well blended.  The syrup and treacle mixture was poured on top and beaten again until smooth.

The mixture was  poured into the tin, it was a very thick batter, but I must admit it did smell of Christmas, I think it must have been the orange and the cinammon.

Into the oven it went for 50 minutes.  The kitchen certainly smelt Christmassy whilst the cake was baking.  After this time I was pleased to see that it had risen quite a lot.  A skewer inserted into the middle came out clean, so it was time for it to come out of the oven.  The cake had to be left in the tin for 10 minutes and then turned out.  I admit I forgot about the cake and it was in fact in the tin for around an hour.  I was disappointed to see that the cake appeared to have sunk whilst it was sitting in the tin.  I was fairly sure it looked deeper when I took it out of the oven.  Anyway the cake was turned out and left to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cooled I wrapped the cake up in parchment and silver foil and put it in the dining room, out of the way for a couple of days.

Two days later I unwrapped the cake and I was surprised to see that it was beginning to go sticky on the top and sides.

I thought it was a shame really to ice it as you were going to cover the ‘stickiness’ up.  For the icing you needed 100g icing sugar and the juice of an orange.  I made a really bad mistake here – the icing sugar was in a bowl and for some reason I juiced the orange and poured all the juice over the sugar.  As soon as I started mixing, I realised I had far too much juice, the orange must have been extremely juicy as I reckon I could have probably used half the amount.  Reading through the recipe Mary clearly states to add enough orange juice to make a smooth, fairly thick mixture.  There was no way my mixture was thick, its appearance was more like cloudy orange juice.  I decided to add some more icing sugar, a bit more, a bit more – this was becoming silly – I think I added at least another 100g icing sugar and it was still too runny.

I decided it would have to do, so I spooned half of  it over my cake only to watch it all run off onto the tray below.  This wasn’t looking good, I decided to add yet more icing sugar to the icing I still had in the bowl.  I was quickly running out of icing sugar so even though the icing was slightly thicker it was still a little too runny, but I spooned it over again and some of it did stay on the cake.  In all honesty it didn’t look that good!

However, after letting the icing set it was down to tasting.  I was surprised it tasted quite good!  My daughter said it was quite nice, but my husband loved it.  I must admit it was even better the next day, it was even stickier!  Even my son said it was ‘all right’ which I take as a compliment from him.

I think this is by far the best tasting ginger cake I’ve made to date and the one that’s closest to my favourite shop bought cake!

Sticky Ginger and Orange Cake

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