I was in a happy baking mood today, so I made gingerbread, which made me even happier with a post gingerbread sugar rush and then made me extremely sleepy as I came down off it. Anyway I’d been planning on making this gingerbread for a while, actually I had been planning on making Nigella’s Guinness Gingerbread for even longer but when it came to getting the ingredients, a while ago, the only Guinness I could find came in the minimum of a four pack and I hate Guinness (but not so much that I wasn’t prepared to give the Gingerbread a try), so instead I did find a single bottle of Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer and I thought, why not? Actually I was well aware that it may make the recipe not work in a very spectacular way and it was almost spectacular, the ginger beer is a lot fizzier than the Guinness, so you get one very bubbly cake batter which didn’t all fit in the tin (so I made a few gingerbread muffins on the side) and I was worried the cake would expand up massively and result in days of me trying to remember that I better clean the oven if you know what I mean. But actually it didn’t expand up too much. The cake did take a lot longer than the 45 minutes recommended by Nigella though, but that may be my oven which seems to be disproving of my cake baking at the moment and is under cooking cakes (if I let it) something chronic.
The resulting gingerbread (once finally cooked) is delicious, with a slightly chewy top (understandable when you see how much sugar of various forms goes into it) and a very, very moist underneath. I have no idea obviously what it would have tasted like with the Guinness but I think with the addition of the ginger beer it may have made it lighter (you can literally see ginger beer bubble tracks in the cake) and I think it may have made it more warmingly gingery because the Crabbies itself (I had to have a little try) is deceptively fire-y stuff. I normally can not stand ginger beer (which is strange considering how much I love ginger in all other forms, but maybe not so strange considering Mr. Lacer loves ginger beer yet doesn’t like ginger in anything else, we’re a contrary pair) but I quite like Crabbies,like I say, it’s deceptive stuff, on first sip it’s like “Ooh this isn’t bad, a bit sweet, not too gingery”, and then it hits your stomach and steam comes out your ears. No way could I drink a whole bottle but I would just love to be all comfy cozy in some remote Scottish pub by a roaring fire, as the wind rattles the window panes drinking that stuff, suburban London doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill.
This was my last Nigella recipe for a while, I have now officially worked my way through Kitchen, not cooking everything obviously (and there are definitely recipes I want to try but haven’t tried yet, like the Blondies) but I have been cooking a great deal of what I have liked the look of. I have just been so determined to actually use the cookbooks I buy, which is why I’ve been determinedly cooking Nigella for a good few weeks now.
Next up is Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, my change in weekly shop as I switch between cookbooks is already interesting, with far more fresh veg being required for a Jamie cook-a-thon is seems. Expect lots of salads, I’ll need them to compensate for that tin of gingerbread I’ll be working my way through!
I liked using Kitchen, there are some lovely recipes in it, notably the Garlic with Love soup, the Risotto Bolognese, the Chicken and Bacon salad, the Butternut, Rocket and Pinenut salad, the Jumbo Chilli sauce and the Marmite spaghetti, of those I think I will be making at least the salads, the chilli sauce and the garlic with love soup over and over again. However I am looking forward to fresher and simpler.