We had a bit of a rude awakening last week in terms of our finances. Every few months, we review how much we’re earning and spending and where it’s going. It’s so easy to just let direct debits roll and end up paying for things you don’t really need. And we were aware that we were generally more skint than we should be. So where on earth was it all going?
The ‘just popping to the shop’ disaster
Well it turns out, our money wasn’t going on direct debits we’d forgotten to cancel. It wasn’t going on big things so we had nothing to show for it, and it wasn’t even going on little things that we needed. The truth is, we were blowing most of our money on absolute rubbish. You know those times when you’re ‘just popping to the shop’ to get one or two things? We were spending around £30 each time, several times a week.
So, we’ve got a new rule in our house. We’re planning better in the big shop so we don’t run out of silly things (red wine, I’m looking at you). And we’re keeping a few staple items in the cupboard so we don’t have to run out and get them – and half the shop in the process.
So, that’s the back story. Now throw into the mix an invitation to a BBQ with a friend who happens to blog about self-sufficiency. Probably the only friend we’ve got who is so good at cooking he even bakes his own bread. And I had to provide dessert – without popping out to the shop and spending a small fortune. This had me thanking my lucky stars for those pantry staples like Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup and Opies Crystallised Stem Ginger. And so, the cupboard contents ginger cake was born.
For the cake:
- 150g plain flour
- 150g self-raising flour
- 150g fairtrade dark brown sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 8 pieces of Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup and 4 dessert spoonfuls of the syrup blended together (I used a nutribullet)
- 150g of crystallised stem ginger
- 150ml vegetable oil
- 150ml cold water
For the drizzle:
- 60g icing sugar
- 6 dessert spoonfuls of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Add all ingredients except for the water to a large mixing bowl and mix together
- Add the water a bit at a time and mix in to form a fairly liquid mixture
- Pour the mixture into a greased and lined deep baking tray
- Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
- Whilst the cake is baking, dissolve the icing sugar in the lemon juice to make the drizzle
- When you remove the cake from the oven, leave it in the tin and pour the drizzle over, it should sink into the cake
This tastes great served with vanilla ice cream. The ginger taste is relatively strong but not too strong, the girls both enjoyed it and they don’t like the crystallised ginger on its own.