Sorry things have been a bit quiet around here. Most of October turned out to be required for rest and relaxation - in between manic bouts of DIY that is. ;-)
I've got plenty of posts lined up so the lull is over - starting with this comforting spiced gingerbread, which would have seemed very out of place over the weekend, but suddenly there's a chill in the air again and warm baked goods seem just the thing.
This recipe is one that I've made over and over again since I discovered it. It has all the trademarks of a classic: it's easy to throw together; we typically have all the ingredients on hand; it tastes (and smells) amazing; and people rave about it.
Even better, the recipe makes two loaves, so you can either give one away and make someone else's day, or pop one in the freezer for later (I refuse to entertain the concept of making half the recipe but I guess if you'd prefer you could go with that option too).
It uses golden syrup and treacle, and because they last forever in the pantry I do usually have both on hand, but the recipe will survive using all golden syrup if you don't have treacle. It will be a bit lighter; less depth of flavour and a bit sweeter - but I have done it and it still tastes delicious.
The batter is very runny - don't be alarmed, it will still cook up into a lovely, moist loaf.
After making this a couple of times I amped up the spices. I'm not so much a subtle-hint-of-spice kind of person - I want every mouthful to be amazing and fantastic and full of oomph (technical term).
As well as being simple to make, it is a win on the dishes front, too; my dirty dish tally for this recipe is one saucepan; one measuring teaspoon; one measuring cup (I measure in the milk then add eggs and beat to combine in the cup); one measuring shot glass (measures the water then I add the baking soda and combine in the cup); and one spatula. If you line the loaf tins well even they won't need washing.
It tastes best warm, but is still amazing cold, plain or buttered, or pop a slice in a bowl, microwave for 20 seconds, and top with vanilla ice-cream. And don't blame me when you go back for seconds!
The dishes factor means that this and my favourite chocolate brownie are my two go-to recipes if I need to whip something up in a hurry - do you have any great one bowl/pot recipes?
Nigella's Sticky Gingerbread (adapted from Nigella Christmas)
125g dark muscovado sugar (regular brown sugar works if you don't have muscovado)
200g golden syrup
200g treacle or molasses (or extra golden syrup)
3 tsp grated or crushed ginger
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 2 Tbsp/30ml warm water
Preheat oven to 170c. Line two loaf tins with baking paper.
In a saucepan, melt together butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, ginger and spices. Remove from heat and add milk, eggs and dissolved baking soda. Fold in flour.
Divide between the two loaf tins and bake for 30-40 minutes, until firm when gently pressed.