Tag Archives: ginger

Gooseberry, elderflower and ginger relish…

I’ve been a bit tardy in writing this post but have no fear, we are still in the midst of gooseberry season and therefore it’s the perfect time to cook yourself up the most delicious gooseberry, elderflower and ginger relish…a fantastic accompaniment to your favourite cold meats or some delicious pork belly, which is how we served it at the last Plate Lickers Supper Club (blogged here). It turned out to be amazingly popular and I have developed a bit of an addiction to it. I even took a jar of it along to a barbecue with me last weekend and can confirm that it’s also great with sausages :).

After seeing this recipe in an Ottolenghi cookbook, I discovered that by total coincidence my parents had a gooseberry bush in their garden, laden with ripe fruit ready for the picking. So on my next visit home, me and my Mum donned a pair of marigolds (they’re evil, spiky b***ards!) and filled our trug full…

To prepare gooseberries you just need a small, sharp pair of scissors. Settle down with some good music and snip the little tail and the tufty black end from the fruit. I froze my gooseberries until I was ready to make the relish, which wasn’t at all detrimental to the finished relish.

To make about 6 jars of relish you will need…

2kg gooseberries, trimmed

A knob of ginger, approx 3 thumbs worth, peeled and thinly sliced

3tsp mustard seeds

240g caster sugar

210ml elderflower cordial

Tie the mustard seeds and ginger up in squares of muslin and tie tightly with cotton. I chose to make 2 smaller bundles instead of one big one. Put your muslin bundles into a large saucepan with the prepared gooseberries, sugar and elderflower cordial, stir together and put on a low heat…

Simmer for about an hour, stirring every so often and skimming off the scum that tends to collect on the surface. The consistency you’re aiming for is that of runny jam…

To test whether your relish is ready…put a saucer in the fridge for a few minutes, then spoon on a little bit of relish, now drag your finger down the middle of it. If the relish stays parted, then it’s ready, if they merge back together, then just simmer for a bit longer before testing again. When you’re happy with the consistency, turn off the heat, remove the muslin bundles and spoon into jars…

The relish can be eaten straight away or will keep for about a week in the fridge.

It might not look very impressive but you’re going to have to take my word for it…it’s divine!


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The winner of my twitter cake poll…ginger cake with ginger fudge buttercream icing…

I’ve spent a lot of time recently revisiting some of my favourite cake recipes in order to perfect them, making sure they’re faultless every single time I make them. This morning, however I woke up with an urge to bake something new, to experience the excitement of trying a new recipe, starting from scratch and hopefully finding a new fave to add to my repertoire! Unfortunately I was also feeling particularly indecisive. I flicked through a few of my recipe books and made a shortlist of 6 cakes but decided that the only way I was going to whittle down my wish list was to ask Twitter to make the decision for me. So I did a Twitter cake poll, asking the cake loving community to decide between…

1 – Squidgy lemon ginger cake

2 – Plum, almond & ricotta cake

3 – Cherry & marzipan cake

4 – Coconut cake with coconut buttercream

5 – Sticky ginger cake with ginger fudge buttercream icing

6 – Apple & cinnamon cake

The response was amazing! perhaps due to the fact that I caught everyone when they were feeling peckish for their elevenses. The sticky ginger with ginger fudge icing came up trumps with the coconut cake coming up the rear as 2nd most popular. I hopped on my bike to the supermarket to stock up on all things cakey, gingery and coconutty…I figured I’d make them both in the next couple of days anyway 🙂

But this bad boy is today’s cake adventure…sticky ginger cake topped with lashings of ginger fudge buttercream icing…

To make it you need…

200g unsalted butter

175g molasses sugar

3 tbsp black treacle

150ml milk

2 eggs, beaten

4 pieces of stem ginger, drained and chopped

300g self raising flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

For the ginger fudge icing you will need…

4 tbsp ginger syrup, drained from the stem ginger jar

300g icing sugar (golden icing sugar if you can find it)

140g unsalted butter

2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and butter and line the base of an 8 inch or 9 inch round cake tin. 

Melt the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat until smooth and lump free.

Let it cool for a few minutes before adding the milk. Then beat in the eggs and stir in the chopped ginger pieces. Finally sift in the flour and ground ginger and add a pinch of salt before stirring well until all of the ingredients are combined.

Pour the warm mixture into the prepared cake tin and pop it into the oven. If you’ve used a 9 inch tin it will need to cook for about 30-35 minutes. I used an 8 inch and mine needed 50 minutes. I always think it’s best to take the cake out and check it 5 minutes before the recommended cooking time, so after 45 minutes stick a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If it’s still a bit wet in the middle just pop it back in he oven for another 5 minutes, before checking again. Repeat this checking process every 5 minutes until you’re happy that your cake is ready.

Leave it to cool in the tin for an hour or so before removing it and leaving it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Pierce the top of the cake all over with a skewer and drizzle over 2 tbsp of the ginger syrup, this will add to the moistness of the cake, not to mention giving it even more of a gingery punch.

To make the icing, beat together the butter, icing sugar, remaining 2 tbsp ginger syrup and the lemon juice until smooth and light.

Slather the buttercream on the top of the cooled cake and there you have it…

It is a gorgeously moist, rich cake…I found it a little overpowering what with the molasses AND treacle but I made my housemates do a taste test for me and they all proclaimed that it was a winner 🙂

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Sticky rhubarb & ginger cake…Mum this one’s for you!

Last weekend my Mum presented me with a new recipe book, ‘Jamie’s Monster Bake Sale’ a collection of recipes put together by Jamie Oliver for Red Nose Day, to raise money for Comic Relief and the Jamie Oliver Foundation, not only through it’s sale but by encouraging people to try the yummy recipes and raise money by holding….you got it…a Monster Bake Sale!

All of the 13 recipes sound amazing and the 2 I’ve tried so far have been super tasty. As she handed it over, my Mum raved about the delicious looking sticky rhubarb and ginger cake at the back of the book. So my choice of Mother’s Day present was pretty much a no brainer!

Here it is…sticky rhubarb and ginger cake for my Mum…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 20cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

To make the rhubarb topping…

250g rhubarb

100g caster sugar

2 tbsp stem ginger syrup

Slice the rhubarb into 4cm lengths and put them in a pan with the caster sugar and 2 tbsp of syrup from the jar of stem ginger. Bring to the boil, and then turn down and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is cooked but hasn’t turned to slush.

For the cake…

200g butter

150g dark brown sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

150ml milk

2 eggs

300g self raising flour

2 tsp ground ginger

3-4 balls stem ginger, finely chopped and 2 more tbsp of the syrup

Heat the butter in a pan with the dark brown sugar and golden syrup, once melted set aside to cool.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and mix them together with the cooled butter mixture and finally the remaining ingredients (flour, ground and chopped ginger). Stir well before pouring into the prepared cake tin.

Carefully arrange the strips of rhubarb on top of the cake mix but save the magic rhubarb syrup for later. Bake the cake for 1 hour 20 minutes until it’s risen and beautifully golden. After an hour you can sneak a peek and if it looks like the top of the cake is browning a bit too much, loosely cover it with some tin foil for the last few minutes of cooking. When you think it’s ready, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean…it’s ready!

Here comes the best bit…spoon the sticky rhubarb syrup over the hot cake. This produces a very pleasing sizzle and a sweet, spicy, fruity aroma to die for!

Fresh out of the oven…

Try to exercise some self restraint and leave it to cool in the tin, giving the syrup time to work its way into the cake, before serving…

It turns out that the women in my family are very well tuned into each other…I discovered that we came dangerously close to having 2 sticky rhubarb and ginger cakes to gorge on…it was so delicious, it wouldn’t have been much of a hardship to be honest with you! It had a great dense but moist texture with little juicy nuggets of stem ginger throughout and the slightly tart rhubarb to cut through it, taking away any sickly sweetness!

Why not serve with crème fraiche, cream, custard, ice cream or just simply on its own…in my book, anything goes and the possibilities are endless!


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