Monday, 19 June 2017

Ginger molasses cake

best ginger cake

I recently discovered Shetland series on Netflix, and totally fell in love with the location and detective Jimmy Perez. I headed to The Book People and bought a bunch of Ann Cleeves' books. Raven Black has a strong narrative, a great setting and an intricate plot. The personalities and close-knit community are well crafted. And though I know exactly how it all ends, having just watched the series on TV, I am enjoying the book.

One cold January morning a teenager is found dead on the frozen beach. All suspicions fall on an old loner Magnus Tait, who has been a local pariah for many years (he was implicated in the disappearance of a child eight years earlier, though nothing has been proved). Did he kill Catherine Ross?
Detective Jimmy Perez is investigating the case, which will lead him into the past.

Lonely Magnus is sitting in his house on the new year's eve, hoping that someone would come and wish him a new year. He has bought a ginger cake, and is ready for any visitors.
A few days later he thinks of inviting new neighbours - a mother and her daughter - in for a cup of tea with biscuits, "there was a slice of ginger cake in the tin. He wondered briefly if she baked for her daughter. Probably not, he decided. That would be another thing to have changed. Why would anyone go to all that trouble now? The beating of sugar and marge in the big bowl, turning the spoon as it came out of the tin of black treacle. Why would you bother with that, when there's Safeway's in Lerwick, selling pastries with apricot and almond and ginger cake every bit as good as the one his mother had baked?"

best ginger cake

I read that, and suddenly had a craving for a slice of ginger cake. I don't bake it often, as my kids are not very keen on ginger, but a friend was stopping by on Friday for a cup of coffee, and I decided to bake the ginger cake. Not with black treacle like mother of Magnus, but with molasses.

best ginger cake

100g molasses sugar
175g margarine (I used Flora Light)
3 medium eggs
1tbsp molasses (liquid)
1tsp baking powder
3 big pieces of preserved stem ginger, grated
2tbsp ginger syrup (from preserves)
a pinch of salt
1/3tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp ground almonds
230g self-raising flour
2tbsp milk (optional)

for the icing: mix icing sugar with a teaspoon of ginger syrup and lemon juice to make a medium runny consistency icing
2 pieces of stem ginger, sliced thinly for decoration

Beat the molasses sugar with margarine in a deep mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add molasses, baking powder, grated ginger and ginger syrup, salt, almonds and spices. Mix well.
Sift the flour in the bowl. If the batter is too thick, add a bit of milk.
Take a brownie tin and line it with a foil. Oil it lightly, and spoon the cake batter in. Even the surface, and place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C.
Bake for 30+ minutes. Check if it's ready with a wooden toothpick, if it comes out clean, remove the tin from the oven. Carefully lift the cake from the tin, and let it cool a bit on the rack before adding the icing.
Mix icing sugar with lemon juice and ginger syrup and pour over the cake. Decorate the cake with thinly sliced stem ginger.

It is an utterly delicious cake, not too sweet and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Shame my kids wouldn't eat it. Eddie peeled off a slice of ginger from the cake, ate it, shuddered, made a face and said "Thanks, but No".

best ginger cake

If you don't have molasses, by all means swap it for treacle and brown sugar, but molasses add a distinct rich flavour which works so well in baking.

best ginger cake

Have you read a book recently which made you run to the kitchen and cook to your heart's content?

I hope you are inspired by books to join in the #ReadCookEat challenge.

The idea is to choose a book, either a world classic or modern fiction, or even memoirs and pick up a dish mentioned or described in that book and then recreate it in a recipe. Please say a few lines about your chosen book, and maybe even do a quote from the book.

If you decide to take part, please add the badge to your post and link up back to me, and either use a link-up tool or add the url of your post as a comment. Alternatively, email me with the link to your post (my email is sasha1703 at yahoo dot com).

I promise to Pin all blogs posts taking part in this challenge, as well as RT and Google+


  1. I haven't had time for much proper cooking lately but I was just thinking that I wanted to hunt out some of my bookmarked #readcookeat recipes for this week's menu plan - I'll hopefully have some posts to link up very soon.

    The cake looks lovely and I have a tin of black treacle that would be perfect for this :)

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Treacle will be perfect in ginger cake. Looking forward to your #readcookeat posts. It only took me a couple of months to finally do the linky, lol

  2. Oh, I didn't know this was still going Galina. One day, I might actually manage to join in! I really enjoyed the Shetland series too, but have to confess I've not read any of the books. That might have to change too - they sound good. Your cakes sounds rather good too. I do like a ginger cake :)

    1. Thank you Choclette! It's going very sporadically, so not every month. Please do join in, if you have a chance.