Today I’m making several of these bad boys ready for the Fabulous Places Christmas Market. The sweet, warming smell just shouts “IT’S CHRISTMAS!”. Perfect with a cuppa and this went down so well at the market last Christmas that I had to make it again.
Lets just say that our house smells absolutely amazing right now.
I’m making mine unfrosted, with a dusting of icing sugar, but you could always make a sharp icing by mixing icing sugar and lemon juice to form a thick paste and spread this over the cake.
I’ve made mine in 2lb loaf tins this year and lined them with the Lakeland tin liners which are brilliant and very sturdy for this kind of liquid batter.
This recipe is from Nigella Christmas. I like my ginger cake very gingery and spicy so I always double the amount of spices she uses, but the measurements below are the original ones. It is a very runny batter so don’t worry if your mixture doesn’t look like your usual sponge mix. Don’t be put off by the seemingly long list of ingredients, most of them are spices – it is such an easy cake to make.
This is one of those cakes that gets better as the days go by, and keeps for up to two weeks wrapped in baking paper in a sealed tin. It also freezes brilliantly for up to three months.
You will need
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 2 x 15ml tablespoons warm water
250ml full-fat milk
2 eggs, beaten to mix
300g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and line a cake or loaf tin(approx. 30cm x 20cm x 5cm) with baking parchment.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over a lowish heat along with the sugar, syrup, treacle, fresh and ground gingers, cinnamon and cloves.
Take off the heat, and add the milk, eggs and dissolved bicarbonate of soda in its water.
Measure the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed.
Pour it into the prepared tin and bake for 45–60 minutes until risen and firm on top.
Try not to overcook, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway will carry on cooking as it cools.
Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool in the tin before cutting.
Image credit – Laura Loves Cakes
I met Kelly and Ant at Jack Rabbits around Christmas 2011 during an event. A really good looking couple, the kind that makes you sigh and think that they are perfect for each other. Clearly they adored each other and were so great to work with during all the planning and the day itself.
They came to see me a few months later once they were ready to start making some firm and exciting plans for their wedding. Kelly had some really strong ideas about the style and theme of the day and those, together with the creative drive of her husband to be (and us of course) meant that their day was every bit what they wanted it to be. Relaxed, fun, afternoon tea and a party were all words that were used a lot during our meetings.
Ant is a musician and also the creative force behind Drawingsbyhersanmine -a bespoke drawing services outfit offering hand drawn framed pieces, greeting cards and digital imagery. Worth checking them out.
We set up and styled Shardlow Village Hall with the help of the couple and a big group of their lovely family and friends. We provided our classic afternoon tea for their guests which we served on our vintage china, naturally. They asked their guests to bake a cake for a Bake-Off which was judged by Kelly and Ant after the speeches had finished (great speeches and amazing cakes they were too!). Guests were greeted with Pimms in the sunshine and there was plenty of laughter and fun during the reception.
The flowers were beautifully done by Helen at The Flower Mill and hay bales were the perfect seating for the drinks reception.
Kelly looked drop dead gorgeous in a vintage slinky dress set off perfectly with a pair of brightly coloured heels. Her bridesmaids wore a perfect mix of sorbet shades, cute knee length dresses that suited all the beautiful girls to perfection.
I put them in touch with The Flying Ducks Catering Company who came along in their amazing caravan to feed everyone for the evening party and guests danced the night away to the small hours.
One of the highlights for me was seeing them arrive from church in their wedding car – they wheel-spun into the car park to much laughter and cheers from everyone. I know we have a VW Camper van which we hire for wedding transport, but their Citreon was definitely one of my favourite means of arriving in style this year. It suited them perfectly.
These photographs were taken by Kate Henderson Photography.
Earlier this summer we worked with a couple who lived on a working dairy farm. And it was amazing.
The wedding was featured in the Save the Date magazine which you can read here.
I met Caroline when we exhibited at the Save the Date wedding show the previous year. When she said she had dreams of holding their wedding reception in their cow barn, I didn’t realise that she meant an ACTUAL barn with living, moving cows in it. My first venue visit in the snow and sleet in January was a little bit of a shock but we love a challenge and the couple had so many amazing ideas that it was always going to be pulled together with style, love and a lot of hard work.
Caroline and Gareth wanted a day that was personal and completely unique to them as a couple and focussed on a handmade, relaxed and informal country wedding, ending in a jolly good knees up!
I loved working with this couple and Caroline has become a friend during the time we spent working together. I’ve shed tears with her watching the totally perfect wedding video that was filmed by James at Digi-scope and will never forget the moment she came giggling into the kitchen with her girlfriends and proceeded to chop the bottom off her wedding dress so she could dance the night away easier!
And this is why I love what we do.
China and prop hire – Darby & Joan
Styling and on the day co-ordination – Darby & Joan
Waitresses – Darby & Joan
Photographer – Milestone Photography
Stationery – Upsticks Boutique
Flowers – Catkins
Videographer – Digi-scope
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