Back in 2015, we spent the leadup to Christmas in the UK. It changed our idea of Christmas forever. Sure, Christmas in Australia is great. It’s the beginning of our summer holidays and there’s a real carefree feeling in the air. It feels right to be drinking beer and eating (some of the best) seafood (in the world) outside by the pool on Christmas Day – although we also do switch on the air-conditioning and enjoy a traditional turkey roast as well.
That year in England, though, showed us the possibility of a different Christmas: one that was full of markets you rugged up for, of mulled wine, of the smell of spices hanging in the cold air. It’s why we went back in 2019 for the real thing.
Anyways, the first time I made this cake our daughter walked in, smelling the air and said, ‘it smells like England at Christmas.’
It did – smell like England at Christmas, that is. It also tastes like it.
Nigella says in her lead-in to this recipe that she used to call it a gingerbread cake, but it’s much lighter than that – and less gingery. I do, however, amp up the ginger. Last year I made it with a brewed ginger beer rather than cider and this year I grated additional ginger – maybe an extra teaspoon or so – and squeezed the juice straight into the cake.
Buderim Ginger do a ginger and pear beer – which is, incidentally, pretty good with vodka – so I got to thinking that next year I might try using pear cider instead of apple…for a change.
Anyways, here’s the recipe. It’s seriously easy: you combine the wet ingredients and the ginger together, you sift the dry ingredients together, you combine the two and pour it into the bundt tin. The only real palaver is the bundt tin – these things are notorious for sticking so if you’re using one make sure it’s really really well greased.
You’ll find the recipe here.