Grantham Gingerbread at a Thatcher Tea party


I’m just finding a few minutes to write my latest post about how I went down to help Kerstin Rodgers -aka MsMarmitelover- at her Thatcher Tea party last Saturday. I caught the train from Leeds to London on the Friday afternoon with a few tea loaves that I’d made earlier in the week.

During the afternoon I baked Grantham Gingerbread biscuits and other biscuits which we iced between us.

Kerstin painstakingly made 8 Thatcher pops, which took an hour each to make, yet each one had character.

The morning came and further baking was done. I made some Cheese scones with a dash of mustard and grated chedder cheese. Kerstin made Margaret Thatcher’s own recipe of Orange & Walnut Cake.

Kerstin horizontally sliced one of my tea loaves in half, dipped it in chocolate and  created a money chest.

With salmon & cream cheese sandwiches along Kerstin’s signature marmite sandwiches, mini cupcakes a topped with sweet milk bottles, we were ready for Kerstin’s guests to arrive.

Kerstin managed to take time out to  chat with her guests while I made sure the the tea kept coming.

By 6:30 it was time for me to leave and catch the train home, so I bid farewell to Kerstin and her guests and hot footed it to Kings Cross station and the journey home to Leeds, forgetting to take one of the Grantham Gingerbread biscuits that I’d made, to eat on the train home. Never mind, I’ll make some another time for the Secret Tea Room.

A thoroughly enjoyable time, but baking with an Aga, a fine piece of machinery, is something I will never get used to. The constant opening of oven doors is not conducive to good baking. Unless they create one with a glass oven door.

Gingerbread, Margaret Thatcher and Kerstin Rodgers


You may be wondering what the connection is between all three. Well the answer is that Kerstin Rodgers has invited me down to her famous ‘Underground Restaurant’ to help bake a few things for her Diva event Margaret Thatcher Afternoon Tea 28th January.  Are you coming?

As “This lady is not for turning” I accepted her invitation.

Doing a bit of research I found out that Grantham, where MT came from, is the home of Gingerbread. Grantham Gingerbread was originally said to be paler in colour than the more Molasses style of ginger bread, so I set to and put t’oven on and did a little practice with some Stem Ginger and a simple sponge cake recipe.

The Gent, Son and I had a slice at lunch time while it was still warm. This cake would work perfectly as a dessert.

Light Stem Ginger Cake

  • 180g Butter ( softened)
  • 180g Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 med sized eggs (beaten)
  • 180 g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger ( be daring and add more if you like)
  • 1 Tablespoon Stem Ginger Syrup
  • 3 Pieces of Stem Ginger chopped
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Method

Preheat t’oven to 180g Fan assisted and line an 8ins square cake tin.

  1. Mix together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy
  2. Gradually add the beaten eggs adding some flour to help prevent curdling
  3. Fold in the remaining flour and Ground Ginger
  4. Add the Stem Ginger Syrup and 2/3rds of the Chopped Ginger, mix until well combined
  5. The mixture should have a dropping consistency, add the milk if it isn’t
  6. Put the cake mixture into the baking tin
  7. Top with the remaining Chopped Stem Ginger
  8. Bake in the over for 25 – 30 mins, or until baked. Checking with a skewer in the centre of the cake, which must come out clean.

Leave to cool, or eat nice and warm as a dessert with Crème Fraiche or a great big dollop of Custard.