The summer holidays are over: hurrah! Get those children back to school and out of their extra holiday classes. Let’s delight for a moment in the illusion that life will be peaceful now that autumn is here, and celebrate with a pleasant autumnal cake. My dad really loved ginger cakes, so my mum used to make them frequently – a black, sticky loaf that was sealed away for a few agonising days before it could be eaten. Unfortunately when my mum moved house, she threw away the book containing the recipe and I will forever be trying to find its equal. This is a very different version of ginger cake: it’s light, nutty, delicious and absolute bliss to devour.
Sticky Ginger Loaf
200g ginger marmalade
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g light brown muscovado sugar
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
3 tsp ground ginger
75g walnut halves
1. Butter and line a loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Put all the ingredients except for the walnuts in a large bowl and beat together – using an electric whisk makes this considerably easier.
3. Fold in the walnuts – if you mix them with a pinch of flour first it should stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake as mine did.
4. Pour into the tin and level the top – it does rise a lot, so don’t overfill it. (I had enough batter left over for a couple of muffins too – bake them for 15-20 minutes.)
5. Bake for about 1 hour – cover with tin foil about half way through if it starts to blacken on top.
6. Stand on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then gently turn out and leave to cool completely.