Tag Archives: ginger

My Gingerbread loaf

>My late paternal grandmother, a talented sculptor and a true eccentric, used to love this cake and I only ever baked it for her… But this week, I baked it in memory of her!

This is a very dark, moist and light gingerbread with a spicy and earthy fragrance. I love it with a bit of dark honey and a cup of Tchai latte.

Ingredients list:
Butter 200g
Brown sugar 200g
Treacle 2 or 3 tbsp (according to taste)
Self-raising flour 300g
Ginger 4 Tbsp
Cinnamon 3 Tbsp
Fresh crushed ginger 1 bite- if available
Eggs, 2 beaten
Buttermilk 300g
Bicarbonate of soda 2 tsp

In a small pan, warm the butter, sugar and treacle until all melts together. I like the strong liquorice taste of treacle so I put 3 generous tablespoonful into this cake but you can put less or more according to your own taste.

In a bowl, make a well with the flour then add the bicarbonate, the spices and melted syrup and the eggs in fine, just lightly whisked with a fork.

Add the buttermilk and mix well, turning and scraping at the sides. The buttermilk and baking soda make this a very light and airy batter but use whole milk if this is all you have. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 1 hour at 170℃. It will keep well in cling film and is best eaten the next day.

I was late for my Spanish conversation class last thursday and brought half the loaf with me to apologize to the group- Lesson number one: You should always bring cake when in trouble!

Apple and ginger puddings, a wholesome treat


Apple and ginger puddings

Ingredients list :
 Note : 6 mini pudding basins are needed for this recipe.
Butter 150g
Brown sugar 175g
Eggs, 3 beaten
Self-raising flour 150g
Ginger stem in syrup, 3 pieces chopped
Small cox apples 2
Ground cinnamon 1Tbsp
Ground ginger 1 Tbsp

Preheat the oven to 180℃.  Oil the pudding basins and line their bottom with a small circle of ovenproof paper.

Beat the sugar with the butter, add the eggs gradually then the flour.

Finely chop the ginger and grate one of the apples.
Peel and reserve the other. Add the ginger and apple to the mix.

Slice the second apple in 6 thin slices. Dust with caster sugar and put one slice at the bottom of each basin.
Pour the mix into the basin and level with a knife. Cover in foil snugly. This will keep it moist and full of flavour.

Put the basin inside a roasting dish filled with one inch of water and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm with ice-cream.

Quinoa and ginger salad with horseradish dressing

>Feeling like a spring-clean of your soul?! Well, cleansing sometimes starts in the kitchen. With this timid springtime upon us I am going back to yoga and running in the cold but sunny mornings and I need the sort of detoxifying food to match.

Ingredients list:
Quinoa 150g
Passata (or crushed tomatoes)1 glass-full
Water 150 ml
OXO 2 spoonful
Pickled ginger
Chopped spring onions and cress 1 handful

 For the sauce :
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Soya sauce 2 tbsp
Mirin ( sweet japanese rice vinegar) or wine vinegar 1 tbsp
Wasabi paste (japanese horseradish) pea-size amount- Don’t overdo this!

Rinse the Quinoa in fresh water by passing it through in a sieve. Put in a pan with the water, the passata and the OXO. Cook on slow heat until all water has evaporated, take it off the heat and reserve. When cool, mix in with your fingers a handful of pickled ginger chopped up plus a handful of cress and spring onions.

Then blend all the sauce ingredients together and have a taste: I love it when it’s got a good bite and is full of mingling exotic flavours. Do be careful when adding the wasabi though as this is powerful stuff and it is easier to add than to take out!

When I feel like fresh, clean tastes, I always tend to fall back onto Japanese ingredients as they seem to bring just the exact spot of healthy but flavoursome detox!
Have a sharp green tea with this lunch and you will feel wholesome and virtuous, ready to tackle any free radicals! A jump on my bike to the yoga class is what I will want next. If I’m good…

Cookies, better than a roll in the hay!?


Cookies, better than a roll in the hay?! You decide!
Today I made the scrummiest cookies: a hint of cinnamon, a triple dose of ginger and some juicy raisins to counter the heat of the spices. I borrow the ABC of this recipe from Dan Lepard at the Guardian weekend : One of the best newspapers food column, in my humble opinion.
I put them in a bright red box from the Mastiha (M-A-S-T-i-C-A) shop in Athens, ready for my next
coffee morning where obviously they’ll be needed next to a good cuppa to open hearts and loosen tongues… unless of course they have already gone by then! And so another batch will be in order…
When I haven’t scheduled one for a while, I miss our “mums’ chat” around the kitchen table, in front of a steaming black coffee, dipping into the cookies’ jar and having a healthy moan about “the kids”, the love of our life -and does he still feel this?!- or our last encounter with a desperate parking attendant. We eat and we giggle ; share cookies and stories – which we will all admit, in the current climate, is way better fun than a roll in the hay!

Ingredients list:
Butter 125g
Soft brown sugar 200g
egg 1
Stem ginger (I chose crystallised stem ginger) 3 to 4 bites
Desiccated coconut 50g
Spelt flour 200g
Ground ginger 2 tsp
All spice 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon 1tsp
Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
A handful of raisins

In a food processor ( why not indulge when you can?), beat the diced butter and the brown sugar until smooth. Then beat in the egg until evenly mixed. Chop the crystallised stem ginger into slivers and stir in with the coconut. Sift together the flour, ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon. Stir into the mix on low speed if you can, then fold in the raisins.

With a spoon, divide the dough into walnut size balls and put on a tray lined with baking paper. Leave a good space around each ball so they won’t run into each other. Put the tray in the fridge for a bit. I find this is the best tip to get perfectly shaped round cookies that don’t invade each other’s space!

Preheat the oven to 170°C and bake for 15 min. Leave to cool onto a wire rack, then transfer into you favourite biscuit box and call your best friend over for a coffee!

Health notes: the point of homemade cookies is that most shop-bought ones sadly include hydrogenated fat or palm oil. Both coat the inside of your arteries and are pretty bad news. So why don’t manufacturers have the obligation to disclose their use on the label?! More on this soon…