Well, I think it’s time to say goodbye to Ginger Month. It’s March and I’m now thinking about planting vegetables, ready for the spring. We have asparagus root (a valentine’s gift), courgettes, narcissus and a variety of herbs.
I’m looking forward to planting the asparagus because it’s something I’ve never grown, so I’m keen to see how well it will work in a garden-by-the-sea. Also, asparagus is lush AND it makes your wee smell, which is funny! Hmmm, juvenile? Yes. Weirdly entertaining? Yes!
Anyway, I digress.
With the arrival of springy March, Ginger Month comes to an end. Sadly.
I’ve taken to drinking a large cup of hot water with a nice slice of ginger seeped into it in the morning and, I have to say, it’s very much my favourite drink at the moment. Hot and deliciously spicy but very comforting.
The little ginger sponges I made were for a weekend of fun and frolics with our cousins from Leeds – here they are again:
It was disappointing when G said she didn’t like ginger. But VERY satisfying when she liked the cakes! Thanks G…. XX
Anyway, here’s the recipe… sadly, I can’t give you exact tin sizes, but use as many as you need, filling 3/4 full OR make cupcakes, filling as many cases as you need 3/4 full.
Mini Ginger and Chamomile Sponge Sandwich Cakes
3 eggs (You will need to weigh them in their shells. Mine weighed 180g)
Exactly the same amount of butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. (If you only have all-purpose/plain flour, add 1 teaspoon of baking powder [5g] per 100g of flour. Apologies US friends – I think that equates to 1 tsp baking powder for just over 3/4 cup of flour).
120g peeled and finely grated fresh ginger.
2 chamomile tea bags, emptied into a cup.
25 ml milk, warmed, with 1 chamomile teabag added to it and left to steep.
* Grease and line a large rectangular cake tin. (I used a tray bake tin and filled it 3/4 full) or line a cupcake tin with liners.
* Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (340 degrees F).
* Weigh out your ingredients. (Remember, it is the weight of the eggs in their shells you will base your recipe on). So, if you have eggs that weigh 180g, you will need equivalent weights of butter, sugar and flour.
* High sift your flour into a clean bowl, twice!
* Quickly beat together your eggs in a cup.
* In your free-standing mixer, or using an electric hand whisk, beat your butter until pale and fluffy.
* Add your sugar and beat. Beat it some more. Beat the living daylights out of it!
* Beat in the ginger and loose chamomile.
* Add the fragrant chamomile milk to the eggs and beat in a cup with a fork.
* Gradually add your this mixture to the butter and sugar, a little at a time. Beat, beat, scrape down, beat, beat and beat. If your mixture curdles, you are being darn impatient! This part takes time, but is vital to a light sponge. Set aside 10 minutes for this part.
* When your mixture is ‘together’ and isn’t curdling, high sift your flour into the bowl and, by hand, fold it in.
* Spoon the mixture into your cake tin or cupcake cases.
* Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until light golden brown (15-20 mins for cupcakes). The top should spring back to the touch and the edges should be pulling away from the sides of the tin.
* Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack.
* Use a cutting ring to cut out rounds of cake. When cool, slice these rounds into two. Make a buttercream (Italian Meringue is nice… and sandwich two round together, adding a swirl of buttercream to the top. (You could use whipped fresh cream if you prefer…)
* Decorate with a slice of ginger and some gold dragees.