Sticky Gingerbread – Nigella Christmas

Nigella Christmas Gingerbread

Before I put the Christmas cookbooks away I thought I’d best try a few recipes. I’d planned to make the sticky gingerbread recipe from Nigella Christmas over Christmas but I couldn’t find any black treacle in the cupboard. This recipe really is very easy to make and delicious. I find Nigella’s recipes to be a bit more hit and miss than anyone else’s but she is consistently good on cakes. My tin was slightly bigger than she recommended so my pieces are flatter than her picture. I dusted my gingerbread with icing sugar before serving (the icing sugar had been absorbed by the left over gingerbread the next day).

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 200g black treacle
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda, dissolved in 30 mls warm water (2 tbsp of water)
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 300g plain flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c/150c fan/gas 3 and prepare a 20 x 30cm baking tray by lining it with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, black treacle, cinnamon, cloves and the fresh and ground ginger in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently. When this mixture has melted take it off the heat and add the milk, bicarb of soda with water and the beaten eggs
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl
  4. Pour the wet ingredients on to the flour and beat until well combined. I ended up with quite a few pockets of flour which I mostly beat out with a whisk.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 – 55 minutes (The mixture will be very runny – don’t worry that’s what it should be like). Don’t overbake.
  6. When ready, remove from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool. This recipe will cut into about 20 squares and will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight tin. You can also freeze it for  up to 3 months.
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Gingerbread Traybake – Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

I know I did say I was going to try some different recipe books but Mary Berry’s Baking Bible  is just so good when you want to bake some cake in a  hurry. I wanted cake for packed lunches so I always intended to forgo the icing on this cake. Jon was very pleased that there was no icing this time as he has a very puritan attitude to icing. These very nice on the day of baking and got better as the days went by. My tray bake sank a little in the middle, I did take them out a little early as they were smelling like they were cooked and looked like they were cooked but maybe the last 5 mins would have been good. That said the middle was fine, just a bit lower than the rest. You can serve this is quite small cubes so it goes a long way and is perfect for packed lunches.

Ingredients

  • 275g golden syrup
  • 275g black treacle
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 225g soft margarine
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp mixed spice
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp milk

For the icing

  • 225g icing sugar
  • about 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c. Grease and base line a 12 x 9 in (30 x 23 cm) roasting tin with greased greaseproof paper.
  2. Measure the syrup, treacle, sugar and margarine into a large pan and heat gently until the fat has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour and spices (if this goes lumpy you may need to push through a sieve, I found adding a little flour at a time it went horribly lumpy so I shoved the whole lot in reasoning if I had to sieve I may as well not spend time mixing in slowly and once I’d mixed all the flour it was pretty smooth).
  3. Add the lightly beaten eggs and milk and beat well until smooth. Pour into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45-50mins or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
  5. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water a little at a time and mix until smooth. Spoon over the cake and add decorations, leave to set. Cut into pieces and serve!