National Chocolate Week – Ginger and Chocolate Cake

As I’m sure you are As I’m sure you are all aware this week has been National Chocolate Week, which followed National Cake Week. A fortnight of baking goodness across the UK. I was extremely lucky to have been sent an amazing box of goodies from Beech’s Fine Chocolates to help me prepare a few Chocolate treats to celebrate*.  My box included five individual bars of chocolate; a white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate and ginger, and lastly a lime and chilli. It also included two gift boxes of chocolate praline hearts and solid chocolate flowers. How lucky am I?? Whilst I’m planning to see what other creations I can come up with I knew instantly that the dark chocolate and ginger would make the perfect accompaniment to my sticky ginger cake. The cake is based on a Yorkshire Parkin but uses golden syrup instead of black treacle so makes a much lighter sponge. Its a recipe I originally found in a Sainsbury’s magazine several years ago that I have tweaked over the years.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates are based in Preston Lancashire and have been making chocolates since 1920. They come across as a real family business and have a great selection of boxed chocolates, bars and creams. Their chocolate is made from 100% natural ingredients, all their products are gluten free and many are suitable for vegans. Online they have really good value gift sets that would make fab Christmas presents (never too early!)

You will need to grease a 20cm/8 inch square tin (I tend to use silicon ones for this recipe as easier to get out). I always use Lakeland’s pre-cut square baking paper sheets as you can buy them in a pack of 100 which are so much easier to use quickly. With this recipe I would definitely use being paper as the ginger will collect at the bottom of the cake creating a sticky layer which could stick to the bottom of your tin. You will also need to preheat the oven to 150C or 130C in a fan assisted oven like mine.

Ingredients
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 125g porridge oats
  • 175g sifted plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • One large handful of crystallised ginger
  • 200ml semi skimmed milk
  • 35g golden syrup
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 50g Beech’s Dark Chocolate and Ginger (They come in 60g bars which means 10g left for you to eat!!).

Firstly on a low temperature heat up the milk, butter and golden syrup until the butter has fully melted.

Whilst this is melting combine all of your dry ingredients into a bowl (except the crystallised ginger) and mix thoroughly. I would suggest sifting all of the ingredients except the porridge oats so there are no lumps.

Once the butter has melted pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until all combined. Lastly add the crystallised ginger into the bowl and pour into your pre-lined cake tin.

Because the sugar coated crystallised ginger will inevitably sink to the bottom of the cake, giving you a lovely sticky bottom I often add a few pieces to the top of the cake too before popping it in the oven.

This should bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and the cake is beginning to come away from the sides. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before removing on to a wire rack. As this cake has a sticky bottom

I normally allow it to cool upside down or it can stick to the wire rack. Once the cake has fully cooled melt the 50g of dark chocolate and ginger pieces over a ban marie until the chocolate has fully melted. Allow it to cool slightly before transferring into a piping bag. Snip a small hole in the piping bag and then slowly pipe lines of chocolate in a criss cross fashion across the top of the ginger cake. Allow this to set before cutting into squares and storing in a tin. This cake improves in flavour as its left and can last more than a week in a tin.

After making this the other day we heated the cake up and served with custard which made an awesome pudding!* I did receive a box of free chocolates from Beech’s but all opinions contained within are my own and I’ll certainly be buying this ginger chocolate again as its fab!

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