- Food & Drink
Bonfire Night and gingerbread go together like Bonfire Night and toffee apples or Bonfire Night and candy floss or Bonfire Night and anything involving a great deal of sugar. It’s probably all the excitement of burning Catholics and frightening dogs that has people craving a boost in their blood stream.
I first came across Holywake Bake Cake on the now apparently defunct Baking for Britain. According to BFB, Holywake Bakes originated in the Cotswolds and were sold at cheery gatherings where heretics were piled on top of bonfires and burnt alive, which only goes to show that there is a cake for any occasion.
This recipe comes from The Cotswold Cookbook by June Lewis (with a few adjustments here and there from me). It’s a damp gingerbread, akin to parkin, and it improves for being wrapped in foil and kept in a tin for 1-2 days after baking. I’ve added a heretical white chocolate decoration that looks pretty and adds some creamy cooling flavours to the spicy ginger cake. Decorate it a few hours before you want to serve it.
Holywake Bake Cake
75g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
175g self-raising flour
50g porridge oats
11/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp black treacle
75g brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
150ml whole milk
50g white chocolate, chopped
1 Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170°C/fan oven 150°C. Grease a 450g loaf tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the oats, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and raisins. Set aside.
3 Place the butter, syrup, treacle and sugar into a small saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and blended. Pour into the dry ingredients and beat well with a wooden spoon to mix.
4 Beat in the egg and then beat in the milk. You’ll need to be gentle but firm with it to get the ingredients to combine, which is why a large mixing bowl is a good idea – it gets a bit splashy. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. The original recipe says it will take 1 hour, but I’ve never crept above 30 minutes.
5 Cool the cake in the tin. Either wrap it in foil and store in a tin for a couple of days or decorate immediately. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Dip a fork in the melted chocolate to coat and then flick it back and forth over the cake to decorate. Repeat until the chocolate is used up. Leave to set and serve in slices.