So in the interest of research, for you my dear readers, I will take up the burden!
So what to make?
Well, how about a sweet?
There are a number of choices available. Fluffy Lemon Pudding..very spring sounding. Or how about an Irish Apple Cake..or a simple Ginger Cookie...or a fancy sounding Irish Coffee Meringue Roulade?
So many choices...so I picked something that sounds warm and cozy, nice for the still cool (or downright chilly, with the snow we had this week) weather...Gingerbread. Dark and sticky, with a syrup you pour over the warm cake and an optional icing that I think must be added.
"This classic teatime cake can be served warm with cream as a dessert or cold, sliced and buttered at any time. The flavor is quite intense, and it's the kind of treat that is immensely satisfying. It stays deliciously moist and has a lovely mixture of different spices so will keep very well. Divine with a cup of coffee."
Makes 1 loaf
Dark Sticky Gingerbread
- 60g (5 Tbs.) butter
- 75g (1/4 cup) golden syrup (or dark corn syrup)
- 50g (2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp.) molasses or black treacle
- 110g (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 25g (4 Tbs.) self-raising flour
- 1 level tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 1 heaped tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g (2oz) crystallised ginger, finely chopped
For the syrup
- 80g (6 1/2 Tbs.) sugar
- 80ml (1/3 cup) water
- 1 tsp finely grated root ginger
For the topping (optional)
- 200g (1 2/3 cups) confectioners sugar, sifted
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
You will need 13 x 23cm (5 x 9in) loaf tin
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Line the loaf tin with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter, golden syrup and molasses or treacle in a small saucepan over a low heat. Set aside.
3. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, spices and pepper into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and salt, then add the milk and egg and mix until smooth. Gradually add the melted butter mixture, stirring until well incorporated, then fold in the chopped crystallised ginger. The mixture will be runny.
4. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Do not open the oven to test before the bread has cooked for at least 45 minutes.
5. Place all the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Prick the hot cake all over with a fine skewer, pour over the syrup and leave to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on the rack.
6. If you wish, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until thick, then spread carefully over the top of the cake with a palette knife or a table knife, allowing some icing to drip over the edges.
I think it had me at 'divine with coffee', since I gave up coffee..and milk and soda and almost every beverage except water for Lent and am thinking this will indeed be divine when I can have a cuppa java come Easter Day.
Although this has a fairly large number of ingredients, once you have them gathered, it is quick and easy to put together. I got everything prepped and measured and ready to go before I started, something I would really recommend with this recipe.
as to those ingredients...
I had no self rising flour, so I looked online and found a 'recipe'. 4 TBS is 1/4 cup, then add about 1/3 tsp. of baking power and you should be good to go. And I had no golden syrup..even though I have seen it in my supermarket...so I used corn syrup. Three forms of ginger are used..fresh, powered and crystallized..and I got my hands on all of them.
BTW, I also lined the loaf pan with parchment paper before I poured in the batter. All that talk of 'sticky' had me concerned about, well, sticking.
Adding the icing is up to you. I went with, not least of all because I though the touch of lemon would be nice. Have I mentioned I love lemon? But to tell ya the truth, next time I would make the icing, but half the amount and leave out the lemon juice, maybe using milk instead, with a dash of vanilla..or a touch of cinnamon. The lemon conflicted rather than complimented in my opinion.
But it was still very good.
And very cozy.
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.