Recently I have been making 'proper cake' and decided to have a cupcake break. I made a fabulous iced lemon curd cake the other day, but it wasn't blog worthy, which was a shame. The cake was moist with a tender crumb, the lemon curd was perfect, but I didn't make enough icing for the topping. Not to be beaten I decided to make some more icing and add this to the icing already on the cake, it was too thin and dripped off the cake too much, in the meantime the lemon curd took on a life of it's own and decided to ooze out of the cake. Shame really because when I sliced the cake and put it onto plates it looked fabulous and tasted sensational, looks definitely aren't everything.
What has the above got to do with Nigella's cake? Well, I wouldn't describe this cake as a looker, but taste wise, it's got everything going for it, providing you aren't mean with the fresh ginger and you don't over cook the cake and dry it out.
I think the lemon icing is optional, even though lemon and gingerbread are a match made in heaven, the cake still tastes wonderful if you miss this out. The downside to icing the cake is the gingerbread discolours the icing after a day, and if you want to keep this cake for a few days to give it a chance to get even stickier, the icing will need to be cut off before serving. I've given twice the amount of icing specified in the original recipe because it was a bit on the mean side and the top of the cake shows through.
Slightly adapted recipe:
You will need: large roasting tin 30 x 20 x 5cm greased and lined with parchment paper.
For the cake:
150g unsalted butter, 125 dark muscovado sugar, 200g golden syrup, 200g black treacle, 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 250ml milk, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water, 300g plain flour.
For the icing:
2 tablespoon lemon juice, 350g sieved icing sugar, 2 tablespoons warm water.
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3.
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, golden syrup, treacle, ginger and cinnamon. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, beaten eggs and bicarbonate of soda in its water.
3. Add the flour to a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed. Pour into the tin and bake for ¾ hour to 1 hour (I baked mine for ¾ hour) by which time the cake should be risen and firm to the touch.
4. For the icing: Sift the icing sugar, add the lemon juice, then gradually add the warm water. The icing needs to be thick. Spread over the cooled gingerbread and leave to set before cutting into slices.
5. Store the cake in an airtight tin - if you opt for not icing the cake, the cake will get stickier with storing for a few days.