An ode to ginger & molasses cake — The Violet Bakery Cookbook

Violet cakes cookbook It's fair to say that I'm giddy with excitement to have a copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook in my hot little hands. Only released a couple of days ago, I have been waiting/hoping for this book since I first tasted Ptak's ginger and molasses cake back in about 2007 after buying some from her then-new Broadway Market stall. For nearly four years now, I've lived a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Violet cafe on Hackney's well-hip Wilton Way. I don't frequent the bijou bakery as much as I could (waistline woes) but sometimes, when the sweet tooth takes hold, we pop in for cakes as an afternoon tea treat. Salted caramel icing, deeply dark chocolate cake, lemon drizzle cake, sticky buns and more fill the old glass shop case. I can never decide. Served up on utility vintage crockery, accompanied with lashings of tea or a strong coffee, it's a lovely spot to while away an hour.

Violet cakes

Wilton Way blossom

The ginger and molasses cake for me, that is the stuff dreams are made of. I love baking and whipping up cakes, so over the last few years I have tried to recreate the ginger and molasses cake several times. While they've always turned out damn tasty, I've never quite nailed it. So it is now I can say thank you, thank you Claire, from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful book that will allow me to recreate your incredible cakes in my own tiny kitchen. I know exactly what I'm doing this Sunday.

Violet cakes cookbook 3

This beautiful book has dozens of yummy recipes I'm looking forward to trying out, all beautifully photographed by Kristin Perers, an East London photographer, whose gorgeous Instagram feed I've been double-tapping for while.

The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak is out now.

x

p.s. You can see the another piece I wrote about Violet Cakes over on This is Your Kingdom.

p.p.s More cake musing here.

N.B. This post isn't sponsored, I bought this book myself. I just really, really like baking cakes.

Oh hello there Winter...

...I was hoping you'd passed us by. Like everyone else in the UK, I'd been lulled into a false sense of security that Spring was on its way and that I'd be lolling in the garden sipping gin in no time. Sadly, I've had to dig out the mittens and wool tights again to keep away Jack Frost. Despite the chill, I've been keeping myself motived to walk the four miles to work in the morning by trying out my new Christmas camera on the way, snapping whatever catches my eye and hopefully walking off the winter waistline in the process.

Everyday I walk past Violet cakes with a heavy heart, knowing that I can't just pop in for coffee and a slice of ginger and molasses cake (truly the best cake I have ever eaten and yes I would have it for breakfast). But how cosy does the little cafe look in this pic? Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

This yellow beauty caught my eye as the ticket inspector checked its frosty windscreen. It's such a daffodil yellow, and looks so cheerful (even with a thick layer of ice covering it).

I'm trying to take a couple of pics each morning, as I don't have much time to spare (no time for dawdling otherwise I, a. get cold and b. am late to work). I'll try and share them on here. I really appreciate the morning walk - it's better than sitting on a crowded bus, surrounded by commuters, with coughs and runny noses, talking loudly on their mobile phones.

Fingers crossed I'll get to take some snowy pics before this cold snap passes!

xxx C