This is definitely my favourite cook from the collection that I have. It's split into 8 sections, from cookies and biscuits to bread and brunch. Most of the recipes are very easy, which I love because it's perfect both for beginners and expert bakers! The photography in this book is just beautiful, I think the photography was what persuaded me to buy the book, I mean who can resist a cooking book filled with photographs of gooey chocolatey biscuits and cream filled iced buns?
I decided to go with the gingerbread loaf as my first bake from this book as I've never made one before. My brothers are big fans of loaf cakes, we especially love the golden syrup and Jamaican cake by McVitie's (although this recipe beats them both), so I thought my first bake from the book would be something the whole family likes.
I'm going to be a very honest baker here, I haven't baked anything other than cookies in a while so the first time I baked this loaf the middle sunk. I tried again the next day and it guess what? It happened again! I had absolutely no idea what was going wrong, especially when I kept reading the method over and over again and made sure that all my ingredients had the right measurements.
I sent out a tweet asking if anyone knew what the problem was (of course tagging the experts Nigella and Jamie Oliver). Many thanks to Nigella Lawson who replied to my tweet, she explained the oven could have been too hot or too much air beaten into the mixture. She suggested to use a wooden spoon to mix as I mentioned that I used a food processor with a whisk attachment. However, minus the sunken middles both loaves were delicious.
So taking on Nigella's advice I've tried again and voila! No sunken middle! I made sure that I mixed the batter slowly with a spoon and I also made sure my oven wasn't too hot. I have just realised that the recipe does state that you should mix slowly so I guess my food processor was too quick! So without any further ado here is Tanya Bakes 'Gingerbread Loaf' recipe:
PREP TIME: 15 MINS
COOKING TIME: 30 MINS
100g golden syrup
150g self-raising flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/GM4. Line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the butter and the golden syrup together in a pan and set aside.
3. Mix together the flour, ground ginger, sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, then slowly whisk in the milk and egg, followed by the syrup mixture, to form a smooth batter.
4. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and a skewer poked into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
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