Gingerbread, a word that is music to my ears & is sure to grab my full attention. The festive scent, the dense squidgy texture, the perfectly balanced spices, what’s not to love? Lebkuchen, biscuits, parkin, pepperkaker, elaborately iced houses there are endless variations of this spiced treat from all corners of the world. The term ‘gingerbread’ is broadly used to describe pretty much any kind if sweet treat that combines ginger with honey, treacle, golden syrup or molasses.
I alone must have at least 6 variations of gingerbread amongst my recipe book, some tweaked & tailored, others made completely redundant by the discovery of a new, younger gingerbread (yeah, I’ve got issues). Every Christmastime though, I have two variations that I return to without fail, the ones that I know won’t let me down. The first is an adapted Delia recipe that makes a large bundt (which is my excuse to crack out the beautiful NordicWare & bundt tins), the other is a humble little loaf packed with flavour, the sort of thing I can rely on for a quick fix to satisfy my spicy, ginger fix.
I’d like to be able to say that I bake but a single spiced loaf of this over the Christmas period however, I’d be lying though my teeth. Gingerbread season begins as soon as December 1st lands. From there on in, every cup of tea comes accompanied by some form of gingerbread, be it a biscuit or a sliver (read: slab) of cake. This squidgy cake is so simple to make that over the years it has become my go to recipe. With very little effort, this little loaf is everything that a gingerbread should be, it’s spicy, wonderfully damp & keeps well. It is unapologetically comforting & I would urge anyone who hasn’t experienced gingerbread in its cake form to give this recipe a try, you may never return to the crumble biscuit again.
(makes one 2lb loaf)
- 350g golden syrup
- 125g butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 275ml milk
- Grease & line a 2lb loaf tin with backing parchment
- In a large saucepan melt together the golden syrup with the butter then set aside to cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, add the egg to the pan & beat this though
- Place a sieve over the pan & sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda & spices, mix until everything is smooth & well combined
- Finally, slowly pour the milk into the pan whilst continually stirring until all of the milk has been added & everything is smooth
- Bake the gingerbread loaf at 180°C for 50 minutes – 1 hour until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean & the cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger
- Leave the cake to cool in its tin for 10 minutes before removing & allowing to cool fully on a cooling rack
- Once cooled, finish with a little flurry of icing sugar before serving