On Tuesday night, “The Great British Bake Off” returned to our screens for its first episode on Channel 4. As the dark evenings begin to creep in, it’s the perfect show to make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Since last year’s series there have been some major changes, Paul Hollywood and the Bake Off tent have moved to Channel 4 and there are some new faces too. Prue Leith will be replacing Mary Berry as a judge, whilst Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding will be taking over the hosting duties from Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.
The series kicked off with Cake Week as always. The new bakers were put through their paces with three challenges including a ‘fruity’ task, a children’s tea party favourite and an illusion cake. So this week I’m having a go at making a fruit cake. Below is a recipe for a ginger and lime loaf. The combination gives the classic drizzle cake a modern twist and is one of the easiest cakes to whip up. Well worth making if you’re in the easy baking mood.
The sponge is sticky (which is absolutely what you want in a ginger cake) but it’s still light and fluffy. There is a real punch flavour-wise with the ground and fresh stem ginger, muscovado sugar and hint of lime, and a little drizzle topping adds extra sweet-sharpness.
The sweet heat of the ginger and the zingy lime work together effortlessly. I added a touch of vodka to the mixture but if you wanted to have a non-alcoholic cake, you can totally swap it out for milk. You don’t really taste the vodka, so it’s cool either way. Perfect with a cup of afternoon tea.
This is a simple cake to make, but incredibly satisfying, best enjoyed with a cup of tea. Because it is so moist it keeps incredibly well, and actually even tastes better after it has had a couple of days to mature.
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 50ml vodka or swap with 50ml of milk
- 2 balls of stem ginger
- 2 tables dark brown sugar
- 30g crystallised ginger to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin. Zest the limes and put to one side. In a large bowl beat the butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. add the eggs one at a time and beat until all combined. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and ground ginger a spoonful at a time. Add the vanilla extract, justice of both limes and the vanilla extract, followed by the chopped stem ginger. Mix until evenly distributed. Spoon the mixture into the tin and sprinkle with a little dark brown sugar. Bake for 50-55mins oe until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Put the 2 tbsp of dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp of water, 3/4 of the lime zest and 3 tbsp of the stem ginger syrup into a pan and put it on a low heat until the syrup becomes dark, thick and sticky. Once baked leave the cake in the tin and set on a wire rack. use your skewer and prick all over the loaf and drizzle the syrup over. Leave the loaf to completely cool. Turn out onto a plate or board and top with the remaining lime zest and the crystallised ginger.