I have to say, this moving thing is really throwing me off. Was about to put an exclamation mark there but I kinda stopped. Reason: there are too many of those scattered around this blog. Way too much for my liking. It would help explain my surprise though so I think you would have forgiven me if I inserted one anyway. Yes, all this tiredness from organising this move is taking its toll, and I’m not even contributing to half of the work! (And there it is. I couldn’t resist.) J is the boss when it comes to huge moves so I left the big decisions up to him. I’m trying to do the small stuff, like making sure everything’s tidy, all of our clothes are properly washed, packed and sealed, ready to be shipped and other little miscellaneous things.
I hope you have excused my absence but I haven’t been well at all. This year the flu came down with a bang, fever and all. J was not that good either, poor thing. I just couldn’t eat anything substantial during that time – I’m sure you know what I mean. So when the fever finally went away and I was able to get up, this cake is all I wanted. I must stress that this is not something we eat every day. I would so like to, but I like to make this mainly around Easter and of course, during this time of year. It might not look pretty, but it’s good.
The recipe is an adaptation of the one you will find in Nigella Express; incidentally there’s a similar one using chocolate in her first book How to Eat, but this one is even easier, making it the one I like best. (You will find another post similar to this with a link to Nigella’s website, but this time I’m also giving you the recipe.) I find Christmas to be very stressful and honestly I am not often filled with seasonal cheer, but this is my pick-me-up. I just love it and it does taste of Christmas if you know what I mean. So for me, it makes sense to kick off the prep with this holiday bake. It will give you 4-6 servings.
- 150g plain flour
- 100g light brown sugar, plus another 150g needed later
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 125ml semi-skimmed milk
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 6 teaspoons butter
- 500ml boiling water
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan and place a baking sheet on to the middle shelf. Put the kettle on and boil the water.
In a medium bowl mix the flour, 100g of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, milk, oil and egg. Be careful not to overmix the batter. If the mixture is lumpy, then so be it; you’ll have a softer spongy base.
Lightly grease a round baking dish, preferably a ceramic or pyrex one, and pour the batter into it.
In a small bowl, tip in the 150g remaining brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and the 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix these well together and sprinkle this over the batter in the baking dish.
Take the 6 teaspoons of butter and place each one gently over the sugary mixture. Now slowly pour the boiling water over this. Slowly. Don’t worry, everything will work out fine!
Place the baking dish onto the baking sheet already in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. You will end up with a lovely cake on top and gorgeous toffee sauce on the bottom layer. Let it stand for around 10 minutes before serving. In the meantime whip up some double cream into soft peaks and serve up. Make sure to give everyone some toffee sauce together with the cake.
Reserved for special occasions, but well worth the wait! Enjoy!
(Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)