Jam and Cake

9872832793_9ebac4e0d3_zOut of all the squash family, marrows are my least favourite vegetable but they are great for one thing and that’s making fabulous marrow and ginger jam, I have fond memories of my mum making this.  As we had a spare marrow growing in the community garden that hadn’t run away with itself and turned into a giant, I decided to make some yesterday. Last year was my first attempt and to be honest it is always on the runny side. The recipe suggests you sprinkle some sugar on the marrow and leave overnight. This acts the same as salt as it de-gorges all the water leaving you with a lot of liquid and shrivelled pieces of marrow. So when you make the jam it seems to consist mostly of syrup but what a delicious syrup with that ginger and lemon tang!

Last year I found a new use for it as well. When we had an open day to raise some money for the garden, I cooked my mum’s ginger parkin, (well actually it was my grannie’s recipe). This I turned into my recipe by substituting carob syrup for some of the golden syrup, much healthier. I had this idea last year when I’d finished it that I could adapt it even more by pricking the surface and pouring the marrow and ginger syrup over it when warm, sort of a nod to the many cakes you find in Cyprus which have a syrup over them. I guess this is how all recipes evolve by developing a basic great idea and making it your own. I have to say the result was very rich and added another depth to the taste.A lovely cake to use as pudding with ice cream. I am very partial to a bit of ginger nice and warming on the chilly nights.

Here is the recipe:-

CAROB CAKE

75 grams hazelnuts finely ground

200 grams medium to fine oatmeal

200 grams self-raising wholemeal flour

225 grams unsalted butter

225 grams dark Barbados or muscovado sugar

2 eggs

4 generous tablespoons of carob syrup

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of ground ginger

Melt the butter gently over low heat together with the sugar and when dissolved add the carob syrup taking off the heat. Beat the eggs. Sift the flour into a bowl add the oatmeal, baking powder and nuts. Pour in the butter mixture and mix thoroughly then add the eggs, mix well. Pour into a greased tin 22cm square and bake in a heated oven mark 4 gas or 180° centigrade for about 45 −50 mins until brown on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. While still hot warm prick the surface all over with a toothpick and pour over the syrup.

One of the many recipes to be found in ‘Androula’s Kitchen-Cyprus on a Plate’

Two varieties of ginger as sold in Haikou, Hai...

Two varieties of ginger as sold in Haikou, Hainan, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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