Image by Holly Bell
How ready for Christmas are you? I am feeling pretty smug to be honest. I don't want to rub your faces in it, but really I'm almost done. I've ordered everything I need to online. I haven't written the cards yet, but that's not allowed until I crack open the mulled wine, which is only acceptable in the month of December.
I have completed a middle class Christmas check list that may be of use to some of you, just to get you in the mood. See if you're keeping up with the Jones (or rather the Billington- Illingworths) and tick off if you have:
- Watched the new John Lewis ad online and shed a little tear.
- Made some chutney from the allotment marrow ready for giving with a large chunk of Stilton as a standby gift for unexpected guests.
- Ordered the turkey from the local butcher and put the pick up date in the diary in capitals and with two asterisks.
- Booked an online shopping delivery slot for Christmas eve but have nothing in your trolley yet. (All MC peeps know you just bagsy the slot first, the shopping comes later).
- Pulled all the Christmas recipe books to the front of the shelf. Nigella front and centre obv.
- Bought some cinnamon sticks to tie to your real Christmas tree to subtly fill the house with Christmas baking aromas. (Fake trees are not for the middle classes).
- Put an order in for your child's Christmas card creations from their school/playschool. Such a good way to offer support.
- In the same vein stocked up on thank you cards. All middle class parents make their children write thank you notes. Not only to teach them manners, but also to demonstrate to their peers just how well little Giles is getting on with his letter formation despite being just 3.
- Considered buying a Panettone tin from Lakeland, but on reflection decided that middle class types are not ashamed of buying baked goods, so have ordered one from Carluccios/John Lewis. After all, it's what they do in Italy. (Not the Carluccios/John Lewis bit, though imagine if the Italians had a penchant for British imitations of Italian patisserie?)
- Offered to help serve tea and coffee after the school nativity play, only really to ensure you can get a front row seat by leaving your Barbour on a chair.
Enough of all this frippery. Onto the recipe. It's an easy peasy ginger cake this week. All you have to do is mix it all up and bung it in the oven. Well, it's a tiny bit more complicated than that. In short though, this is child's play. I even made a video of it just to show how easy it is. You can see the vid on my YouTube channel. You can watch it below too.
115g dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
4 tablespoons black treacle
2 large eggs
300g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped very finely.
1 heaped tablespoon icing sugar
Grease and line an eight inch tin. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Put the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle into a saucepan and heat until melted.
Mix the eggs and milk together. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture to the saucepan of melted ingredients, then add the egg mixture and beat until you have a smooth batter. (I used a wooden spoon for this.) Lastly add the stem ginger and beat well.
Pour into tin and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins then pop onto a wire rack. When completely cool, sift icing sugar over the top.
Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum
Her first book is out now, also called Recipes from a Normal Mum