Whilst I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, I really like jams, marmalades, jellies, etc. One of the greatest pleasures in life for me is a jam sandwich made with either raspberry jam or bramble jelly, (incidentally I’m a salted butter with my jam girl and the bread has to be Mother’s Pride plain.) So I was really excited when I got the chance to be part of #BakingWithMackays, an initiative that Mackays, the Arbroath based producer of jams, marmalades, curds, preserves and conserves, have been promoting on Twitter. I selected a number of items from Mackays’ range which they very kindly sent to me in return for me coming up with some recipes and telling you all about them on here. All of the posts for #BakingWithMackays will come under the title of ‘Spread a Little Happiness’.
The first of these recipes is Ginger & Lemon Sandwich. This was made using Mackays’ Spiced Ginger Preserve. It’s a very simple recipe based on a traditional Victoria Sandwich, but highlights how by using different ingredients or flavours, an old favourite can be transformed into something new and exciting. I love ginger and use it a lot in my cooking; both savoury and sweet. I love the heat it provides and matched with zesty lemon it’s a culinary marriage made in heaven. Ginger is reputed to have a number of health benefits so if you bake and eat this cake perhaps you could convince yourself you’re actually being very health conscious!
Ginger & Lemon Sandwich
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
zest of 1 lemon and 1 tbs lemon juice (you could replace this with 1 tsp vanilla extract if you wish)
small tub whipping cream (approx. 200ml)
approx. third of a jar of lemon curd*
approx. third of a jar of Mackays Spiced Ginger Preserve
2 – 3 tbs icing sugar
(I’ve given approximations here as I think it’s a personal choice how much filling you have in your cake. As you will see from the photograph below I probably used too much filling!)
*Mackays produce a lemon curd but I think it’s fair that I point out here that I didn’t use their’s for this particular cake.
1. Grease two 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/gas mark 5
2. Cream the butter and sugar together for a good 5 minutes with an electric whisk, (if you’re lazy like me!), until really pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. If the mixture looks like it’s starting to curdle slightly just add a wee bit of your flour, beat well and it’ll all come good.
3. Stir in the lemon zest and juice or vanilla with a metal spoon.
4. Sieve in the flour and stir in with a metal spoon.
5. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins. Top Tip…if you make a slight dip in the middle of the cake batter your cakes will come out with a flatter top. I always forget to do this! Knock each tin on your work surface to get rid of any air pockets and put in the oven to bake for approximately 20 minutes. This is totally dependant on your oven. I’ve found with my oven 17 minutes is the perfect cooking time. Once ready the cakes should bounce back when pressed slightly and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean. Leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. When the cakes have cooled completely remove them from the tins. It’s easiest to do this by sitting them on a mug and pushing down so the outer ring of the tin falls but the cake and base of the tin are still secure on top of the mug.
7. Whip the cream until it’s voluptuously thick but hasn’t gone ‘buttery’. Fold the lemon curd through the cream. It’s nice to have ribbons of the curd so don’t mix it through completely. For an extra lemon hit you could add some additional lemon zest.
8. Place one of the cakes on a serving dish or cake stand and spread thickly with the Spiced Ginger Preserve. Top with the lemon curd cream, (you probably won’t need to use it all but it’s nice to serve on the side as well or, even better, eat straight from the bowl!), and place the second cake carefully on top. Sieve a small amount of icing sugar over the surface of the cake.
Et voila! Ginger & Lemon Sandwich. Perfect with a cup of tea. A lovely combination of sharp lemon and spicy, earthy ginger. I recommend you give it a try.