Monday 25 February 2013

Ginger Preserve and Chocolate Cake

Ginger preserve and chocolate cake
My Mother often gives me food items that she has found reduced and knows it will be gratefully received when trying to feed my hungry horde. This is usually yellow-stickered meat which has been reduced by vast amounts. Occasionally, though, she gives me other things which I presume she bought on whim, unable to resist such a good bargain. When I left her house at Christmas she pressed a jar of ginger preserve into my hand muttering something about how I could do something with it.

Now I'm not really one for preserves of this type. I stick to mainly olive spread for toast and sometimes join the kids with Marmite or chocolate spread. Jam is used for Victoria Sandwich cakes and scones. My husband goes for marmalade and peanut butter. So this jar has now become a problem for me and quite frankly I AM SICK OF THE SIGHT OF IT.

My cupboards are full to bursting at the best of times and it seems to have found a home on the top shelf in front of the self-raising flour. This means I have to unpack everything in front of the flour container in order to get it out of the cupboard and I use a lot of flour. I can't give it away or sneak it into school raffle or hamper prize because it has been opened and sampled. By me. Yes, one morning while at breakfast I had a bit of it on some toast because my Mum kept bringing it out and finally I cracked when she suggested for the umpteenth time I should try some. It is very strong tasting and like the label describes, warm and spicy. If I did start to have some on toast each day it would still take a long time to finally get shot of it due to its intense flavour. The fact I've had it now for two months and not opened it again just shows that it's not going to disappear by its own accord. In such desperate times there is only one solution – bake it into something.

Inspired by Jen's choice of ginger as this month's theme for her hosting of We Should Cocoa on behalf of Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot, I thought the ginger preserve would be best used in a cake. As such I will be putting it forward for this month's challenge on Jen's Blue Kitchen Bakes blog.

I also have to say thank you to Jen for making me aware of the No Waste Food Challenge which is run each month by Turquiose Lemons. February's ingredient is preserves so I shall be entering this recipe for Kate's blog.

I've covered this with chocolate flavoured icing but you could use a chocolate ganache and even put some more ginger preserve on top.


5oz (150g) Self-raising flour

1oz (25g) Cocoa powder

½ tsp (2.5ml) Baking powder

4oz (110g) Butter, softened or baking spread

2.5oz (75g) Soft light brown sugar

2 Large eggs, beaten

4oz (110g) Ginger preserve


3oz (85g) Icing sugar

1 tbsp (15ml) Cocoa

1 tbsp (15ml) Hot water


Large mixing bowl

Electric whisk

2lb/1kg Loaf Tin, lined


1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the butter, sugar, eggs and ginger preserve and beat well with an electric whisk.

4. Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin.

5. Bake for 30 minutes and check the top isn't burning too much. Cover if needed. Cook for another 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

6. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Once cool make the topping by sifting together the icing sugar and cocoa.

8. Add the water and stir together.

9. If you want thicker icing just add more icing sugar. Leave to set.

This recipe uses about a quarter of a jar of ginger preserve so one down, three to go...


  1. What a fab looking cake. Thank you for joining in the No Waste Food Challenge. Great to have you aboard.

  2. That sounds like an excellent use of your ginger preserves. It's funny, I love ginger, but I've still got three jars of ginger and marrow jam I made two years ago - like you, I just don't eat jam! Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa and good luck with using the rest of the jar.


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