I’ve had to have words with myself recently.  Life has been so hectic the last couple of weeks that I have barely had time to contemplate baking let alone actually do any.  The irony is that most of this ‘running around like a headless chicken’ is of my own doing.  I mean lets face it,  I agreed to have not 1, not 2 but 3 children.  I also decided to take on a university diploma course in counselling,  join a gym,  say yes to class rep and start writing this blog.  Oh, there is another little something to mention as well.  I have just become a stylist for a gorgeous jewellery and accessory company called Stella and Dot.  What this effectively means is that I have got my own little business project on the g as well.  All very exciting but a lot to fit in. But do you know what?  I don’t think I am alone, (please tell me I’m not…). Whilst I love being a stay at home mum, I can’t just switch my brain off and be happy with immersing myself completely in the children and housework. I dread to think what would have become of me had I been born a couple of generations ago!

And whilst I sometimes feel very guilty about wanting more than just being a housewife I also know that having a few other things in my life outside of the home are what keep me from quite frankly going bananas.  Ultimately, I think I’m a better mum for it. It’s a difficult balance to strike though. How much is too much? Well, to be honest I think the last couple of months have been too much.  I need a few early nights and to pay myself a little bit of attention.  Books, baths and baking are in order because thankfully one of the biggest time commitments in my life right now is about to come to an end.  My diploma in counselling has been a 2 year slog of essay writing into the small hours, but now I am on the verge of submitting the final assignment and the relief immeasurable.  It’s been a fantastic learning curve and I’ve learnt a lot about myself.  I’m excited about being qualified but right now it’s the thought of no more essay writing that is a really great feeling.  Not quite sure how I have managed to come this far, but I’m very proud of myself for it. I have really missed not being able to bake as much.  It’s my therapy and I am craving to bake again to restore some inner calm.  So without further a do, I present to you my first Christmas recipe for the blog this year.

Chocolate Gingerbread With Figs And Chocolate Icing

 Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100ml single cream
  • 70g soft dark brown sugar
  • 80g golden syrup
  • 80g treacle
  • 3 med eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3 knobs of stem ginger in syrup finely chopped
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g fried chopped figs
  • 2 tbsp gingerbread syrup (moulin)

For The Icing

  • 100g dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • 50ml double cream

Decoration

  • Gold leaf (optional)

How To Make

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/gas 4
  2. Grease and line a medium sized baking tin
  3. Melt butter, cream, syrup and treacle in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved
  4. Allow to cool for 5 mins and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add eggs one at a hen add the cocoa power and mix
  5. Fold in the flour and baking powder and along with the chopped figs, ginger and chocolate chips
  6. Pour into tin and bake for 30 mins
  7. Make the chocolate icing by melting the chocolate and cream together in a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water in it
  8. Once smooth and mixed in spread the chocolate icing over the top of the cake
  9. I used a few flakes of gold leaf to make it a bit more Christmassy

I’m very pleased to be able to enter this cake into the November Tea Time Treats challenge hosted by Karen from Lavender and Loveage and Kate from What Kate Baked. The theme this month is CAKE!!