Family is everything to me. And I think it’s true that your family becomes more important the older you get. Where in my youth I would prefer to hang out with friends and only see family when I absolutely had to, nowadays, my family are my friends and I look forward to every single gathering with genuine enthusiasm.
After years of living on single-street, both my brothers are loved up now and it makes me so happy. And not only are they loved up, they’ve both chosen beautiful women to welcome into our family which enhances the dynamic that much more.
I’m the eldest of four kids with two brothers in between my baby sister and I. For years now Christmases and family get togethers have consisted of me + my husband and kids and then my siblings and our parents – sometimes at the same time, sometimes just one or other (my parents are divorced). But now our number spans heaps and there is always such a lovely hustle and bustle when we hang out. My kids absolutely love having more people to hang off and harrass and it’s so nice for them to be developing relationships with other females and to watch their uncles treat a lady right.
Incidentally both of these beautiful girls have birthdays in May, and in fact only four days apart. We gathered at Mama’s on Saturday night for a yummy feast for one but the other couldn’t make it so last night everyone gathered again, this time at my place, for another birthday feast. Thankfully I didn’t have to cook. Instead they bought all the necessary ingredients for us to make our own Rice Paper Rolls which was a delicious feast. It was amazing and every messy mouthful was sensational!
I was tasked with a cake for the birthday girl and at her request: “a Ginger Cake with Caramel Sauce please”. I’ve made this cake before, but it ordinarily comes with Lemon Icing.
I adapted the recipe to top it with the same Caramel Sauce from my favourite Sticky Date Pudding and the rest was history.
This cake is perfectly moist, but dense and soft all at once. It makes a decent sized cake which adequately served 10 with plenty left over. And it’s a simple to make cake. It has a lot of sugar components (!!!! turn away now if you believe sugar is the enemy !!!!) but it has hardly any butter for a cake of this size and just one egg, so let’s just say it all evens out in the end. hehehehehe.
Served with icecream or whipped cream, you’ll be in heaven with each scrum-diddly-umptious bite!
- 225 grams self raising flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 T ground ginger
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground mixed spice
- 115 grams butter, cut into cubes
- 115 grams each of golden syrup, treacle and brown sugar
- 250ml blue milk
- 100 grams crystallised ginger, roughly chopped (but not too small, it's so nice having chunks)
- 1 egg
- 200g brown sugar
- 3/4 C cream
- 150g unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 t vanilla paste
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter and line an 18cm round, deep cake tin with baking paper. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and all spices into a large mixing bowl. If doing by hand, add the butter and rub into the flour as you would for making scones, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, using the whisk attachment place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, before adding the butter and mixing on high until butter is broken up and integrated to resemble breadcrumbs.
- Place the sugar, golden syrup and treacle as well, as the milk, into a medium sized pot and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to just below boiling point.
- Add the chopped ginger to the dry mixture and then pour in the liquid mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon as you do so.
- Break in the egg and beat by hand until everything is well combined, at which point the mixture will be like that of a thick pancake mixture.
- Pour mixture into the tin and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
- To make the sauce, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
- You can freeze this cake by wrapping in baking paper and then gladwrap for up to 1 month.