August 25th, 2010
Cakes are the bane of my baking existence. My attempt to make a sponge cake in Year 7 Home Economics resulted in a spongey pancake, despite following the recipe to the letter. And a failed attempt to bake my birthday cake a few years ago ended with a teary phone call to my parents, telling them not to visit (of course they still visited). In the case of the birthday cake I was admittedly also feeling stressed about a looming uni assignment deadline at the time, but it was the cake that pushed me over the edge of sanity and into the embarrassing dramatic display void.
Clearly, I bear the psychological scars of cake failure, so It was with some trepidation that I tried this cake recipe. I (and Matt, for that matter) am glad to report it was a complete success!
Ginger Cake (from Women’s Weekly Recipe Cards, circa 1970’s)
1 cup treacle
2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
4 cups plain flour
0.5 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2.5 tablespoons ground ginger (the recipe calls for 1.5 tablespoons, but I like ginger a lot)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1.25 cups milk, warmed slightly
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line two deep 20cm tins
Place butter, treacle and brown sugar into saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves and leave to cool.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, ginger and soda into large bowl, add cooled sugar mixture, lightly beaten egg and warmed milk. Mix well.
Pour mixture into tins, and bake for 55 to 60 mins. Cool slightly before turning out onto cake cooler. Ice when completely cool
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon juice (I measured the first tablespoon, then added to taste)
Cream butter until soft, then gradually add icing sugar. Add lemon juice to taste, and until it’s soft and light.
It’s a pretty dense cake, but the light and fluffy icing offsets this well. Most importantly, it’s a delicious cake. The only drawback is that the recipe yields two cakes, and it’s hard to halve the recipe on account of the one egg. I can’t say I’ve conquered my fear of baking cakes, but this recipe has certainly put me on the road to recovery.