Thursday, 18 October 2012


I turned twenty four on Saturday (twenty four!). I've not been back to my Mum and Dad's since April so it was great to go home and celebrate. I also took some pictures of the scarf I made for my Mum's birthday earlier in the year, partly because I forgot to do it at the time, and also because everyone knows that if something's not on the internet, it never existed.

It's a great little pattern, based around an eight row repeat. The one I made isn't quite as beautiful as the original on the Purl Bee (I used acrylic) but, until my earnings match my knitted yearnings, I can't really complain.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating (mostly pub lunches, trifle and birthday cake - below, not sure why there was a pig on it), drinking and pottering about Manchester.

We also went to the vintage fair on Stockport Market on the Sunday, and bought an old Robert's radio for £25. It's gorgeous, sounds amazing and, obviously, I'm now planning how to furnish the lounge around it.

But enough birthday talk; you can't always have a pig and ganache adorned cake. You could always have an oaty ginger cake though. So, as promised, here is the recipe for my Mum's ginger cake. 

It's just the thing to perk up an unhappy child on a family walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales (not that I'd know anything about that) or  scoff with a cup of tea. And it always tastes best after a couple of days.

Some cake-related advice:

I'm not sure how old the recipe is - my mum got it off my auntie, who wrote it on the back of a Christmas card. The uncertain origins of the recipe are also reflected in the slightly vague measurements... I'm not really sure what would constitute a 'large cup' (this, perhaps?) but I just use heaped measurements of a regular American measuring cup.

The method itself is bit unorthodox too - it's probably something to do with the lack of eggs. You soak oats in milk for a couple hours and, in a separate bowl, rub the butter into the flour as if you were making a crumble. Then, you add the rest of the dry ingredients and heated golden syrup. Finally, you stir bicarbonate of soda into the milky oats (I guess this is what makes the cake rise) and stir the whole lot together. I tend to bake mine in a loaf tin lined with foil as the mixture inevitably explodes a little in the oven, so making a lip with the foil around the edge of the tin helps to keep it in check. It also makes it dead easy to wrap up afterwards.

Finally, it's egg-free, so perfect for little sickly allergy-prone children such as myself. It'd be easy to switch to a vegan recipe too - try soya milk or water instead of regular milk and use Trex or a similar hard vegetable fat to replace the butter.

Some unrelated advice:

Don't drink bleach.

Ginger Cake

1 large cup porridge oats
½ pint milk
2 large cups self raising flour
¼ lb butter (cubed and straight from the fridge)
2 tsp ground ginger
½ cup golden syrup
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

☞ Soak oats in milk for 2 hours (or more if you have time)
☞ Rub butter and flour together and mix in sugar and ginger
☞ Melt golden syrup in a pan, add to dry mix and stir together
☞ Stir bicarb into oats and milk, and add to other ingredients
☞ Mix! Spread into chosen baking receptacle
☞  Bake for around 1½ hours, until golden on top and cooked through

1 comment: