June was certainly the gateway to summer here, long heat-filled days with barbecues and sun lounging aplenty, but July?
Well, July is supposed to be “hollyhocks and hammocks, fireworks and vacations, hot and steamy weather, cool and refreshing swims, beach picnics, and vegetables all out of the garden - first sweet corn on the cob dripping with butter, first tomatoes dead ripe and sunwarm, string beans, squash, crisp cucumbers. July can also be hard and shiny, brassy and sharp. Some days are like copper pennies in the sunlight” (Jean Hersey); but not here. Here we have cool weather and days filled with grey skies and rain. Anyone would think we were mid-autumn, not on the cusp of summer.
On days like these, there is nothing else for it than to comfort bake. And this All Star Sticky Gingerbread certainly fits the bill.
Like Nigella Lawson, I simply cannot disentangle the smell of gingerbread from Christmas; but it tastes fabulous all year round. The waft of it freshly baking in the oven is wonderous.
This Sticky Gingerbread is relaxingly simple to prepare, good to eat at any hour - is it the perfect treat for having with a coffee whilst you lose yourself in a good book on a rainy afternoon. Plus it keeps fabulously fresh for a few days. It can be frozen to no detriment which is always a bonus.
Heady with spices this bake is a true delight. You could, of course, replace the spices with 2-3 teaspoons of my Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix for a slightly different flavour.
Sometimes you get a dip in the middle of the gingerbread, which indicates that you have been a bit heavy-handed with the syrup and treacle. Do not worry - it just means it tastes even more moreish.
I’m happy enough with it unfrosted, just left plain in a delightfully simple bake, but if the mood takes you can make a contrasting icing by sieving icing sugar and mixing it till thick and spreadable with a tablespoon of orange juice and one of warm water. Spread this over the cold slab of gingerbread, and leave to set before cutting.
Sweet, sticky, spiced, gingerbread. Reminiscent of Christmas but perfect any time of year.
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 45 MTotal time: 60 M
150g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
250g golden syrup
150g black treacle or molasses
2 teaspoons finely chopped stem ginger
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
250ml whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 30ml warm water
300g plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a roasting tin or ovenproof dish (about 30cm x 20cm x 5cm) with baking parchment.
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat along with the sugar, syrup, treacle, stem ginger and spices.
3. Take off the heat, and add the milk, eggs and dissolved bicarbonate of soda in its water.
4. Measure the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed. It will be a very liquid batter but don’t worry. This is part of what makes it sticky later.
5. Pour it into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until risen and firm on top. Try not to overcook, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway will carry on cooking as it cools.
6. Transfer the tin to a cake rack and let the gingerbread cool in the tin before cutting into 20 squares.
I’m happy enough to leave this sweet, sticky, spiced gingerbread, unfrosted, just left plain in a delightfully simple bake, but if the mood takes you can make a contrasting icing by sieving icing sugar and mixing it till thick and spreadable with a tablespoon of orange juice and one of warm water. Spread this over the cold slab of gingerbread, and leave to set before cutting.
Sat. Fat (grams)
Nutritional Info automatically completed from Recipe Generator.