March 17, 2008

A Friend Came for A Visit

I was very excited when Gilli emailed me and would want to come down to see us here in the countryside. It always interests me meeting other foodie bloggers. We can talk and talk about blogging, markets, events... I could go on. The most interesting part is, of course, food!! While we were strolling around the garden and orchard, all we talked about was food! Typical foodie bloggers, I suppose. It just fascinates me.

Gilli is going to hit the road again and will be travelling by boat with her beloved husband, up northland. I am pretty glad that we met before her adventurous journeys. I baked double ginger cake, Nigel Slater's recipe, my favourite author so far. I love him! Gilli found it not too sweet. I can assure you it has a mild gingerly flavour. I always love ginger cake, whatever in forms it will be.

For this cake, I should make my own ginger syrup as I could not find any ginger jar in the supermarket. I had to reduce the sugar, though I don't mind the golden syrup. I was just so happy that Gilli also loved my Damson plum cheese. We also tasted a year old Apple Cider Cheese which this year I don't make (we have a bad crop of apples).

Thank you for coming to see us, Gilli. Have a great trip up north!(and i hope you don't forget that pear-cognac story!--a reminder!). Oh, the tomato ketchup works really well with fish and chips. Ben and Sarah keep reminding themselves that it's Gilli's tomato ketchup. Their first impression: “oh, mmm... nice, Mum! It's nice of Gilli to give us this, ya Mum?” with eyes full of amazement expression. I tell you, they are such little foodies!

Oh, for you who are looking forward to reading the whole entries of Cupcakes Spectacular 2008, there are gorgeous cupcakes and new ideas you can view and perhaps try on, I've gathered them on a round-up. For you who sent me the entry too late, I'll still be putting your entry on the round-up as well. Please, give me some time to work on it, though. Thank you for all of your entries, it was just such a great fun!

Double Ginger Cake

Source: Nigel Slater. The Kitchen Diaries.

This recipe calls for ginger jar which I suppose you can make it yourself if you don't have them in the pantry. I made the ginger syrup a week before I make this cake (like I know Gilli is going to come!). I found the flavour in the syrup responsibles for making the gingerly taste in the cake. I don't use the ginger roots from the syrup, though, because they're a bit hard. I used crystallized ginger to replace the ginger lumps.

250g Self-Rising Flour,
2 level tsps ground ginger,
½ tsp ground cinnamon,
1 level tsp baking soda,
pinch of salt,
200g golden syrup,
2 Tbs syrup from the ginger jar,
125g butter,
3 lumps stem ginger from the syrup (55g),
2 heaped Tbs sultanas,
125g dark muscovado sugar (I reduced the sugar to 85g only, using local product Chelsea dark cane sugar),
2 large eggs,
240ml milk

Prepare a square cake tin 20-22cm and lined with baking paper. Preheat the oven at 180C/Gas 4. sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, soda, dan salt. Set aside. Put the golden syrup, ginger syrup, and butter in a saucepan and warm over a low heat. Dice the ginger finely, add in the mixture with sultanas and sugar. Boil slightly for a minute, stirring frequently to avoid the fruit sticking on the bottom.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl. Add in milk and beat until well-corporated. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and pour into the flour immediately. Mix well. Then, add in the mixture of milk and egg. Stir until well-combined. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. You can either leave the cake in the tin until it's cool or remove it from the tin immediately if you want to eat it warm.

I wrapped mine with greaseproof paper covered with foil to wait until the day Gilli came. I made it a day beforehand. The flavour is awesome!


Barbara said...

A nice photo Arfi. I love NIgel Slater too.

Happy cook said...

Beautiful ginger cake.
I love the taste of ginger.
I am sure it was wonderful to meet a bloger.
Glad to hear that you had fun with a another foddie blogger

Susan from Food Blogga said...

A lovely cake for a lovely visit. Thanks for sharing, Arfi.

Cakelaw said...

I love Nigel Slater too. I got his Kitchen Diaries over Christmas, and this ginger cake is one of the recipes I have tried. The man is a genius without even trying.

Chris said...

Yum! And, what a fun visit! I am heading to your round up. I am so bummed I didn't get to make anything for sorry!

Rosie said...

I know just how good this cake tastes having baked this recipe of Nigela too! Yours looks stunning my I add :)

Rosie x

So Simple said...

Hi Arfi
Yes it was a lovley visit. It's been a bit hard blogging from up here but I haven't forgotten about the pear and cognac. I have prepared the post and will put it on when there is enough grunt in the reception.
So plesaed you liked the sauce. Your Damson Cheese and Jam have been getting lots of compliments
from fellow sailors
Thanks a lot
Love gilli

Arfi Binsted said...

I think I have replied your all comments here? Goodness me, what have I done?

Barbara: I think Nigel has a big fans of cooks and ladies hehehe...

Happy: yes, me too! love ginger!

Susan: thanks for dropping by, Susan.

Gaye: I think he's got the humble charm that Gordon Ramsay hasn't!

Chris: hehehe it's okay, Chris. you can always join Cupcakes Spectacular group on flickr, if you wish.

Rosie: This is Nigel Slater, not Nigella Lawson. Oh, no! I prefer Nigel of course.

Gilli: You're still up north, are you? I'm sooooo happy that the sailors love them! hehehe