First transported from Armenia to Europe by a monk in the year 992, ginger bread should be as treacly and sweet as it is spicy. It’s tricky to say that any recipe for ginger bread is definitive because there are so many – American Cookery, for example, the first American cookbook (published in 1796) contained seven different recipes for it – but here’s our take. It should be most like the sort you get sealed in a foil wrapper, full of sweetness and luxuriously moist.
A classic sponge with extra gloop
- 100g plain flour
- 25g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 60g butter
- 125g Lyle’s golden syrup
- 2 tsp ground ginger (or use grated fresh ginger if you have it)
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 beaten egg
- 125ml milk
How to make it
1. Preheat your oven. If you have a fan oven put it on at 150C. For standard electric 170C will do, while for gas you should go for gas mark 3. Line and grease a standard loaf tin with baking paper and butter.
2. Pop a saucepan on a low heat and pour in your golden syrup and butter, stirring and cooking until melted and combined.
3. Now grab a large mixing bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda and your spices – obviously if you’re using fresh ginger don’t try to put this through the sieve! Throw in the sugar and salt, stirring as you go, and then put in the egg and milk. Whisk until smooth. Once combined, pour in your gloopy and delicious butter/syrup mix. Mix again until the whole mixture is bound together.
4. Fetch your lined tin and pour in the cake mixture. Finally, pop it in the oven for between 50 and 55 minutes. Because you want the cake to retain moisture, this is not the kind of thing you should cook until a skewer comes out clean. Instead, check if the top is firm. If so, the cake has finished cooking.
Serving your ginger bread
Ginger bread goes well with plenty of things, but our favourite way to serve it is with a few slices of banana (which adds even more smooth sweetness), whipped cream, and, if you want to go the extra mile, a vanilla sauce made from cream, vanilla, butter and sugar.
For some inspiration in Singapore, Pure Eddiction makes a mean Gingerbread Cake with molasses, which makes it even more indulgent.