I love being by the Sea. It’s peaceful, clarifying, refreshing and beautiful.
I have vowed to myself that I will move to the coast at some point in my life, hopefully buy a house, get a dog and be carefree. Now I know life isn’t as peachy as that but I can dream.
Sometimes the hustle and rush of London just gets too much and you have to escape somewhere calm (and bloody windy.) By the sea is not where one should wear a dress. As it turns out the wind travels at a thousand miles per hour there. Just envisage dress over head kind of scenario.
I went down to Worthing to see my sister and her fiance in their new home. We went for a lovely walk down the beach, took a well needed detour to the supermarket and stocked up on fajita’s, doughnuts and chocolate.
Now, it’s getting into the chilly season now and all things spicy start to come out.
Around about this time of year I would probably start babbling on about how beautiful Autumn is. However, I know every blog post you read at the moment talks about the crisp morning air and burnt orange leaves underfoot.
So I’m going to steer clear this year and maybe save that mushy stuff for December. I’ll get right down to the nitty-gritty and get to the only reason your probably reading this.
Ginger never used to be something I loved and has only recently become a favourite flavour of mine. Ginger juice, ginger cake, ginger cookies, ginger latte; I’m there.
This cake is one you need to heat up before serving and snuggle down on the sofa with a generous helping of thick cream. The orange really carries through with the ginger and the pear provides moisture and a different texture. You can leave the pears out if you want and just have a great tasting ginger cake; this way you can also leave the cake to age for a day or two so that the sponge becomes deeper in flavour. (It will actually last longer without the Pears as they can make the cake soggy if left for more than a day.)
This is a great bake for when you’re looking for something a bit different to your traditional bakes this time of year. Get that seasonal spice fix without being hit in the face with clove and nutmeg.
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 orange, zest
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 85g stem ginger, grated
- 115g soft dark brown sugar
- 115g treacle
- 115g golden syrup
- 250g milk
- 1 egg
- 2 pears
Grease the sides and base of and a 23cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper. Pre-heat your oven to 160C.
In a saucepan, place the treacle, golden syrup, milk and dark brown sugar together. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just comes to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
In a medium-sized bowl, rub together the flour, spices, orange zest and butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs. Next add in the grated ginger. Pour over the warm treacle mixture and stir the ingredients together until combined. Break in the egg and quickly mix it through.
Pour the mixture into the prepared springform tin. Peel the two pears and cut into quarters, taking out the core. Gently drop the eight slices of pear into the batter so that each person will get a wedge when the cake is cut.
Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, covering with aluminium foil if the cake begins to brown too much. Remove from the oven when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the tin and let the cake cool completely.
Serve the same day; warm with thick cream.
Note: This cake has to be made the same day it is going to be eaten as the pears can make the cake a bit soggy if left for too long.