This is a recipe devised for my friend the very lovely Tom Abba (@tomabba). It is one in a series of cake recipes that I’ve come up with and name them after friends on the condition that they make a donation to a food bank. I know some bloody lovely people so they all say yes.
This doesn’t look like the type of ginger cake that you’re used to seeing as it’s not made with molasses and it isn’t made by the rubbing them boiling method (I’ll add a page explaining these terms shortly) which accounts for the fact that the texture isn’t that of the usual type of ginger cake.
First of all you have to dry some fresh Bramley apples. This sounds terrifying to most people but it’s very easy. Peel and core a couple of Bramleys and cut them so that they look like crescents and they’re about a quarter of an inch thick. I don’t know what that is in new money but I’m sure you can work it out.
Line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof baking paper. Don’t add any oil or grease to the tray or the paper. Place the sliced apple on the sheets so that they don’t touch and then put them in an oven preheated to 150 c for 45 minutes or so. They will go brownish but shouldn’t burn. The brown is what happens when apples are exposed to the air and it doesn’t effect the taste.
When they’re baked let them cool then cut them roughly – about 4 pieces to each slice – and for the most part they’ll still be fluffy and moist inside. Weigh out about 6 ounces or so and put them to one side and get on with the cake mix.
Cream 4 ounces (oz) margarine with 4 oz caster sugar until it’s pale and fluffy taking care not to let it melt. Beat in 2 eggs mixed with 6 tablespoons of milk whisking as you go. I use a balloon whisk but use a hand held mixer if you prefer.
Place a sieve over the bowl and add (pre-weighed) 8 oz self raising flour and two teaspoons of dried ginger or one teaspoon of dried ginger and a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated along with the dried apple pieces.
Sieve the flour and dried ginger into the mix in the bowl shaking as you go. If you add the fresh apple and ginger and toss them through the flour this coats them and they are less likely to sink as the cake is baked.
Line a large loaf tin completely with greaseproof paper and pour the mixture in to it. Place slices of Bramley apple on top of it gently. You can see what I did in the picture but you can make it pretty. Drizzle over some softened salted caramel sauce (place the jar over a bowl of hot water and that will make it easier to use) so that the slices are covered generously.
Bake for about 40 minutes on 170 c for a fan oven, 180 c for non fan and then test with a skewer. If it’s cooked the skewer comes out clean. If not then keep cooking for a few minutes at a time until it does.
Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then lift out by the lining onto a cooling rack. Take it out of the lining when it is completely cool.