Saturday, 19 April 2014

Hamper Goodies

My Grampie is THE most difficult person to buy for at Christmas - he never wants anything when you ask and I always find myself resorting to wine and chocolates. So this year I have decided to go all out and make a hamper of homemade goodies.

My first challenge was deciding what to put in it, so I settled down with a mug of tea and all of my recipe books and set to work...after narrowing down my rather long list I headed to the supermarket for ingredients.

We are having a family lunch on 22nd so I need to have everything ready for then as I won't see him until after the big day so items that I can freeze are top of my agenda, first is Nigella's "Guinness Gingerbread" I've made this before and it's to die for!
My work colleagues were impressed when I took some in for coffee time, saying it tasted just like a shop bought cake but better, which always good to hear :) It is quite a heavy cake but has an amazing aroma and a gorgeous sticky top, I cut it into squares and eat as it is but it goes absurdly well with hot custard! As it's so easy to make and did I mention it's absolutely delicious? I thought I'd share it with you all...  

Guinness Gingerbread: 

150g butter 
300g golden syrup 
200g dark muscovado sugar 
250ml Guinness 
2 teaspoons ground ginger 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
300g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda 
300ml sour cream 
2 eggs 
1 x 23cm square baking tin or 1 x foil tray approx. 30 x 20 x 5cm 

1. Line the cake pan with foil and grease if preferred - I use a square silicone pan and line it so I don't bother greasing 

2.Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large pan over a low heat (I usually add the spices at this time as well) 

3. Remover from the heat and pour in the Guinness and mix thoroughly 

4. Add the flour and bicarb of soda slowly, whisking to avoid any lumps 

5. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and sour cream and then whisk into the mixture 

6. Pour into the cake pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes at 170c / gas mark 3

These times are as stated in the recipe but it takes mine a lot longer to bake through. I just keep testing it with a skewer and when it comes out clean it's done - if you think the top is baking too quickly cover it with foil until it has cooked right through. 

Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do! It's now cooled, well wrapped and now sitting quietly in the freezer waiting for some company, now what shall I do next? H xxx