Friday 18 December 2015

Ginger Spiced Pudding Loaves

With 1 week to go, by now you're probably sick to death of being bombarded with all things festive when it comes to food. I know I am and that's hard to come by considering that I'm a blogger obsessed with food. All you have to do is sit through one break of TV ads and they're thrown at us. Constantly. I don't blame them though, Christmas has become one big old competition for retailers and they have to fight all they can. 

In which case, I'm sorry, because here's yet another Christmas recipe, be it a possible contender for the big day itself as an alternative to the Christmas pud, or just if you fancy a bit of festive baking which also handily acts as the standby supply for all those unexpected visitors...the ones that always seem to come when you have just eaten everything in that chocolate biscuit selection box which was supposed to be for sharing. Admit it, you know the feeling!! (I'll just have one, two, three, four...oops.)

As I seem to recall writing about this time last year for a post, I may have mentioned that I'm not a fan of Christmas pudding. Who is? Let's face it, it's only really grandparents who like to stick to tradition just for the sake of it, the rest of us are lured into the alternative desserts. 

Even though I have called these 'pudding loaves' don't think that they are in any way heavy, because they are in actual fact very light and an adequate size to still feel satisfied with something sweet after you've pigged out on all the trimmings in the main event. They're perfect to make ahead of time and remain moist, deliciously dark and intense with spice for days. So no need to worry, you can make them Christmas Eve and they will be fine well into boxing day. 

You can, if you wish,  make this as one big loaf but remember it will take much longer to cook and you may need to protect the cake from over-browning with a shield of foil. The icing can be put on the loaves whilst still warm from the oven (not immediately) and so are delicious served hot or cold.

Note: - This recipe also works using self-raising flour and no bicarbonate of soda. 
It does work well but I prefer the sticky texture you get with bicarbonate of soda. 

- If baking one large loaf use a 1kg loaf tin so it won't overflow. 

Ginger  Spiced  Pudding  Loaves

Makes 8 mini loaf cakes


100g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg + more to sprinkle for decoration
100g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
75g black treacle
125ml milk
50g butter, melted

For the icing:
2 tbsp butter
50g dark brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
100g icing sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line with baking parchment, then generously butter 8 mini loaf tins. Measure all the dry ingredients, except for the sugar, into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, egg, treacle, milk and melted butter and beat until smooth. 

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat for a minute until smooth. Pour the wet batter into the greased and lined loaf tins (they will only part fill up the tins), place them all onto a baking tray to make for easier transportation and bake them for about 15 minutes. One large loaf will take about 35 minutes. They will feel springy to touch and shrink away from the sides of the tin when done. 

For the icing, melt the butter and brown sugar together over a low heat, stirring, until the brown sugar no longer feels gritty then take it off the heat. Beat together with the milk and icing sugar until you have a smooth icing.  You may need a bit more milk if it is too thick and you want some of it to drizzle down the sides naturally.  Spoon the icing decoratively over the top of each loaf and sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top to finish. 

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