6 – 8
- 75g ‘Simply Natural’ organic molasses sugar
- 225g ‘Simply Natural’ organic plain flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ‘Simply Natural’ French sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ‘Simply Natural’ organic true cinnamon
- 2 tsp ‘Simply Natural’ organic ginger powder
- 105g organic stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped small
- 600g ‘115g organic grass-fed butter
- 1 tbs golden syrup
- 2 tbs organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 150ml buttermilk or organic Greek yoghurt
- 2 organic free-range eggs
1. Grease and line a 22cm X 22cm square tin with baking paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
3. Sieve the flour into a large bowl.
4. Add sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger powder and mix thoroughly.
5. Add the stem ginger and coat with the flour mixture.
6. Melt the butter together with the two syrups in the saucepan or Thermomix bowl (2mins/80°C/speed 1).
7. Add the buttermilk or yoghurt to cool the mixture, then blend in the eggs and pour into large bowl.
8. Mix together quickly and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
9. Bake in the centre of the oven at 190°C for ~30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
10. Allow to cool for 2 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool further.
Gingerbread cake and cookies have often been associated with traditional festivities even resulting in dedicated gingerbread fairs known in Medieval Europe. They were sweet treats thought to have medicinal properties, one 16th century writer described them as a cake or biscuit made to comfort the stomach.
Ginger is indeed one of the best spices to help digestion and has been used in baking at least since the 15th century, with a guild in Germany set up to control production. Germany is even now famous for gingerbread and ‘Lebkuchen’, which are still offered in the traditional Christmas markets washed down with a glass of warm Glühwein. A little cheer of spiced bread and spiced red wine to warm the spirit in the cold northern winters.
Stem ginger in syrup is a special treat brought out for Christmas which often found its way into both the cakes and the biscuits. For an extra treat, pierce the finished cake at regular intervals and drizzle over the syrup.
Credits: Ceri, Zenxin master chef