Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ginger Gems

These lovely little cakes really take me back. My mum had a gem iron and made them occasionally and they are just lovely fresh out of the oven. They require a heavy cast iron gem pan, which gets heated in the oven until really hot, then you whip it out, drop butter into each compartment, then the batter and get it straight back into the oven. They are very easy to whip up in no time so make an ideal 'spontaneous' afternoon tea treat. Apparently they can be made in muffin tins as well, to me it just wouldn't be the same, I think the shape is what makes these!
This recipe comes from the Edmonds cookbook, the staple cookbook and baking bible that would have to be in most NZ households! It makes 12 wee gems, I doubled this when I made them for 24!

Ginger Gems

50 g butter
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 egg
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c milk
extra butter

Preheat gem irons in oven at 200C. Cream butter and sugar and ginger in bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well. Beat in syrup. Sift flour and stir in. Dissolve baking soda in milk and quickly stir into creamed mix. Put small dots of butter in each section of gem iron. Spoon mixture into sizzling butter. Bake for 10 mins or until well risen and golden brown.


hungryandfrozen said...

Oh, good old Edmonds cookbook! I love ginger gems, the proper tin makes it :) These look delicious.

Norm said...

Goodness, I learn something every day - I had never heard of a 'gem iron' or indeed 'gems'! It must be a NZ thing? They look wonderful though - I love ginger as a flavour.

Deb said...

Oh don't they take you back to your childhood!! My mum used to make these all the time. And doubling the recipe is a "must" :-)

Rosie said...

Hi Linda, I'm also new to the 'gem iron', but those ginger gems look wonderful and just perfect for the fall.

Rosie x

Coby said...

I've not heard of these either, but I am very tempted:) I have a mini-loaf tray (so similar shape) but made out of regular metal..umm whatever muffin tins are usually made with. Recon they'd work?

Thinking About Food said...

Coby you could definitely use your mini loaf tins!

Oh my! Apple pie! said...

They look great, I'd love to give these a try.

Anna's kitchen table said...

WOW! Gorgeous!

Jesse said...

Adorable! Gems are definitely something specific to your part of the world. They are absolutely adorable. I'm not going to be on the lookout for gem pans in antique stores... surely a few made it over to the states?

Thinking About Food said...

The irons are available in specialty kitchen stores here, but I got mine from an antique shop as they are much cheaper there!!!

Allie said...

Norm, gems are the precursor to muffins, not exclusive to NM. They were a pretty big deal throughout the settling of the American West. The best pans are from the 1800s, in heavy cast iron. You can sometimes find them on eBay, though the shipping is always a killer. My gem pan is one of the few kitchen items I own I could never bear to part with.

I am such a big fan of gems! Thanks for posting this! I usually make corn gems (and then open them w/ a fork, of course, followed by an unhealthy dose of maple syrup and a nice round of heated ham), but ginger sounds like a spectacular treat as well!