A Christmas cake alternative

Since my previous post, I’ve had a couple of requests for my* Christmas ginger cake recipe so here it is…

Ingredients
– 225g self raising flour
– 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1tbsp ground ginger
– 1tsp ground cinnamon
– 1tsp ground mixed spice
– 115g butter (I often only have Clover and that works a treat)
– 115g dark muscovado sugar
– 115g black treacle
– 115g golden syrup
– 180ml milk (semi-skimmed is fine!)
– 50ml double cream (you can stick to milk if you’d prefer)
– 100g stem ginger in syrup, grated
– 1 egg
– 2tbsp Stone’s ginger wine (or similar)

For the icing:
– 30g icing sugar
– 1tsp lemon zest
– Juice of half a lemon

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c for a fan oven)
2. Grease and line a 20cm round, 8cm deep cake tin
3. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices
4. Slowly heat the sugar, treacle, syrup, milk and cream on the stove until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to just below boiling point
6. Add the grated stem ginger to the flour mixture and slowly pour in the gooey treacle mixture, stirring as you go
7. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Add the ginger wine (or similar) and beat until the mixture forms a thick batter
8. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour
9. Use a skewer to check that it is cooked through, or gently press the top with your finger (it should bounce back)
10. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out
11. To make the icing, mix together icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until you have a smooth, runny consistency
12. Drizzle the icing in a pattern of your choice over the top of the cake (make sure it has cooled first!)

You can freeze this cake a month in advance and it makes a great alternative to traditional Christmas cake. I love it with a generous dollop of thick fresh cream.

*Actually, Tom Dolby of BBC Good Food can take the credit for this – I’ve just made some small tweaks and can confirm that it is delicious!

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