This week's challenge for the Weekly Bake Off, set by the lovely Amy, was the Ginger and Treacle Spiced Traybake. The Bake Off is Amy's idea to bake her way through the recipes contained in Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes. This is a fantastically handy little book, featuring many of the recipes drawn from her other books, such as the Ultimate Cake Book, or Baking Bible, which is also amazing value at under £4, so that's 4p per recipe!
I was really happy with this challenge, as I love ginger. This recipe uses stem ginger in syrup, and ingredient that I had not actually used before, but which was very easy to handle. Doses of allspice and mixed spice help to give a lovely warmth to the cake. The cake mix is easy to put together, as it's a question of simply measuring out the ingredients into a bowl and then beating it so that it comes together into a smooth mix. I was a bit disappointed though, as I had a total senior moment and misread the oven temperature required, and so set mine at 180 degrees, when for a fan oven, I should have used 160 degrees. Consequently, my cake was a little overdone, particularly around the edges (see below).
Once the cake had cooled though, I trimmed off the very outer edges, and revealed quite a moist sponge interior, with a lovely flavouring from the spices and ginger. The cake is topped off with an icing glaze, made using syrup from the jar of stem ginger and icing sugar, and then with a sprinkling of chopped stem ginger over the top. I really liked this, as I felt the sweetness of the glaze, with its ginger tang, balanced out the treacly spiciness of the cake. Just right with a cup of tea on a dark, rainy Sunday.
225g softened unsalted butter
175g light muscovado sugar
200g black treacle
300g self-raising flour
2 level tbspns baking powder
1 level tspn mixed spice
1 level tspn allspice
4 large eggs
4 tbspns milk
3 bulbs of stem ginger from a jar, finely chopped.
For the icing
75g icing sugar
3 tbspn syrup from the jar of stem ginger
3 bulbs of stem ginger, finely chopped, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 160 fan / 180 conventional / Gas 4. Grease and base line a 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 inch) traybake. Measure all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat until mixed through. Pour into the prepared pan and level. Bake for 35-40 minutes until springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
Mix the icing ingredients to form a smooth paste. Spread over the top of the cake, and then sprinkle the chopped ginger over the top. Allow to set and then slice into pieces.
The recipe for this is also featured on the BBC website here.