Friday, 18 September 2015

Root Beer Ginger Cake and Cleaning the Bathroom

Ginger Cake, Gingerbread... whatever... it's yummy!
Last weekend, we had an American Football party to watch the first game of the season (husband is a big fan and now the kids love it.)  This basically meant junk food to eat. I did, however, warn them not to expect it every week!  We had sorta-ribs, chicken dippers, homemade cheese dip and sour cream dip, tortilla chips, BBQ pretzels, baby corn and sugar snaps, homemade cookie dough ice cream, and gave root beer a try for the first time... Once I got over the Savlon/Germolene flavour of root beer, it became quite a nice drink that especially works with spicy food (perhaps that's the numbing anti-septic cream type effect at work...)  Two of the kids really didn't like the root beer so the next morning I had two opened almost-full cans.

Realising the same principle as applies to cola should be so with root beer, I used one of the leftover cans to clean the toilet bowl. Wow it sparkled!  Same effect as using soda crystals (sodium carbonate) that I would normally use, but less powder and somehow really satisfying to be cleaning it with pop. (edited to add: it brought the bathroom sink up a treat too!)

It was equally satisfying to pour the same ingredient I successfully cleaned a toilet with into a cake that turned out just as, if not more so, successful.  It really felt gloriously trashy to pour a can of pop into cake batter and did not quite expect the gorgeous moist beautifully flavoured gingerbread above.  I am afraid I still call all ginger cakes "gingerbread" due to early indoctrination and so now so do my kids.  Either way... point is... the ointment hit is dulled and leaves an ever so slight sarsaparilla element which gives this such an old-fashioned flavouring when mixed with the warm ginger and spicy cinnamon.  It also has the advantage a standard gingerbread has in that it gets moister as it matures over a few days to give that traditional sticky texture.  Even though it is great as it is with a cup of tea, coffee or milk after a meal, it is great with ice cream or custard as a proper pud too -you could reheat the slices if you want to do the latter but it works fine straight from the cupboard too.

Anyway, here is what we did:

This fills a 23x23cm tin and makes about 25 reasonable sized pieces (fewer if hubby cuts a slice to take to work...)

300g self raising flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp ground ginger
Half a tsp ground cinnamon
175g granulated sugar *
2 tsp black treacle *
* you could use 175g moist brown sugar instead if you prefer
100ml rapeseed or other mild vegetable oil
200ml root beer

Preheat the oven at 170C.  Mix everything together until well blended and smooth.  Turn into the baking pan (lined with greaseproof baking paper or greased then floured, or do as I do and use a silicone tin to save paper and grease.)  Bake for 40 minutes.  Cool in the tin placed on a wire rack then remove and cut into slices.  Store in an airtight container.  It will get gooey in the container as it ripens into delightfully sticky matured gingerbread over a couple of days!

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