Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sticky ginger cake

This is one of those cakes that's quick and dead easy to make. It's also one of those cakes that gets better and better after three or four days in the tin, as the pungent ginger flavour and moistness of the sponge intensify beautifully. It's dark, rich and sticky and adds a welcome hint of warmth on a cold winter's day.


225g self-raising flour
115g soft, dark brown sugar
4 tsps ground ginger (you can add more for extra zing if you like)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g butter
115g golden syrup
1 egg
200ml milk

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degs C/gas mark 2 and line a 20cm (8inch) cake tin with baking paper.

2. Sieve the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.

3. In a small pan, gently heat the butter and syrup until melted. Beat the egg into the milk.

4. Gradually pour the butter and syrup into the flour mixture and stir well. Pour in the egg and milk mixture and combine until smooth.

5. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I've used lots of different flapjack recipes over the years but have never been totally satisfied with the results. Some are too sticky, others are too crumbly and a few are too sweet. This recipe, therefore, is an adaptation of all those I've used before but which, I think, gives the perfect result.

These are delicious plain, but I often add a few extras like seeds (pumpkin and sesame are great) and/or chopped dried fruit (dates or apricots work especially well). And for chocolate lovers, why not drizzle a little bit of melted chocolate over the top once the flapjack has been baked and is cold.


360g oats
240g butter
4/5 generous tbsps honey or golden syrup
100g soft, brown sugar (optional for those who like a little extra sweetness)

 20cm x 25cm baking tin, greased and lined.

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degs C/gas mark 4

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat

3. Stir in the oats, honey and fruit/seeds (if using) and mix well

4. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and spread evenly

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top

6. Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares of whatever size you like.