Sunday, 12 May 2013


Good Morning to you,

We are going through a difficult time in my part of the world, people are losing jobs, gas and electricity prices are rising all the time and good food is expensive.

The 1930's and 1940's were a time of austerity and wives had to be creative with their cooking to be able to feed their families, so, maybe, it is time we looked back at our grandmother's and mother's resourceful recipes to help us eek out the pennies.

With that thought in mind, I  re-read Ivy's Cookery Book,  and it was interesting to see how ingredients were used, in an economical and resourceful way, to create good homemade food.

During Ivy's lifetime she enjoyed cooking and baking and I remember, as a small child, there was always something tasty to eat. Whether it was cakes she had baked, jams and marmalade she had made, chutneys made from vegetables grown from Gramp's allotment, or her everyday meals.... she was a marvellous cook.

Her cakes were entered for competition,

..... and as you can see she was very successful.

The cake I have chosen today is a Rich Ginger Cake which Ivy made.  Ivy's recipe called for lard, but I have substituted butter, otherwise all the ingredients are the same. It certainly is not a rich cake by today's standards, but it is an enjoyable, everyday cake. It is perfect to have in your cake tin, to share with friends and family and to enjoy a slice with your afternoon cup of  tea or coffee.


115g / 4 oz butter
115g / 4 oz brown moist sugar
2 large eggs
230g / 8 oz treacle or molasses
half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons of milk 
230g / 8 oz plain flour
half a teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1 x 1 kg / 2 1b loaf tin buttered and lined
 with baking parchment
Heat the oven to 180 degrees  or Gas Mark 4


Cream the butter and the sugar

Add the lightly beaten egg yolks

and mix to fully incorporate the eggs

Add the treacle or molasses
Add the bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the milk
Add the sifted flour
Add the mixed spice and ground ginger

Mix well until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Beat the egg whites  until little peaks form, then gently fold into the cake mix.

Transfer the mixture to a buttered and lined
baking tin and bake for 50 - 60 minutes.
(Check after 50 minutes as our ovens vary so much)

Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 10 minutes
then remove from the tin, 
remove the baking parchment
Place the Ginger cake on a cake rack and allow to cool 

When sliced, you can see the cake has a nice texture.

I sifted a little icing (powdered) sugar over the Ginger cake and added some sliced stemmed ginger, as I love the flavour.  I think the recipe could stand to have a little more ginger added, but try the recipe first and see what you think. 

Next time I make Ginger cake I am going to add chopped stem ginger to the cake mix and I think I will drizzle some of the stem ginger syrup over the cake whilst it is hot to intensify the ginger flavour.

You could also mix a little icing sugar, with a small amount of water, to create a runny consistency, then, drizzle this over the Ginger cake.

All the ingredients were in my store cupboard, including the stem ginger, so I did not have to go shopping for any of the ingredients.

I cooked my Ginger cake in a loaf tin, whereas Ivy's recipe called for a meat tin, I think it was about using what you had and actually, thinking about it, using a meat tin would have stretched the cake further, as Ivy's cake would have been thinner and it was cut into small squares, a little like brownies, whereas mine were sliced. Also the cooking time would have been reduced as the Ginger cake would have been thinner, thus saving money by using less gas or electricity.

Note to self:  Remember and note these little ideas.... Ivy and Phyllis knew a thing or two about saving money.

Guess who is hovering in the background waiting for a slice of Ginger cake...... you've guessed it. George has his cup of tea in his hand, he has his tea plate at the ready, he just needs his slice of cake..... and guess where he will be going.... yes you are right, to his den to watch the sport...... well it is Saturday afternoon!

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

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