Tag Archives: fresh ginger

O’Gourmet Food Hall Trifecta of Ginger Cake

4 Feb

Everyone loves ginger cake. I certainly havent met a ginger cake that I didnt like, even those slightly stodgy, heavy ones. Its the magical melding of ginger and dark sugar, of molasses and heat that creates layers of flavour. Ginger cake is complex. Its a full frontal experience because the spice perks up the taste buds, while the richness and sweetness tease the palette. I have always loved ginger cake, but when I got a whiff of the Bentong ginger available at O’Gourmet Food Hall, I knew I wanted to try my hand at remaking it anew.

Bentong ginger is considered the best in the world. It is fresh, crisp, stark and sharply spicy, but it has undertones of sweetness. O’Gourmet Food Hall has organic, locally grown and incredibly fresh Bentong ginger. The scent assails you as soon as you peel the root. The firmness of the ginger, the clarity of the flesh, and the taste. Absolutely gorgeous.

I decided I wanted to make a ginger cake with this particular varietal, but I wanted to add more depth to it if possible. I found some ginger curd which has a more muted caramel deep throbbing hum of ginger to it, and some beautiful fresh ground ginger powder which adds a musky beat. A trifecta of ginger in one cake. Would it be too much? Turns out, if youre careful and you add the fresh ginger in stages, you can find a balance of taste that is close on perfect. Add to that the dark tones of brown sugar and molasses, fresh organic eggs, and a frosting of cream cheese and fresh vanilla bean. Sublime. Happy making. And amazingly easy.

Do note that if you want a very simple ginger cake, you could just halve the recipe and leave out the frosting. You will then have what is more like a tea cake, still stunningly gingery but a little more sedate and less full on. If you cant find ginger curd, leave it out, but do try and find the freshest, crispest, firmest ginger you can, and use organic ingredients as much as possible.

For a two layer cake (serving 12 people… or more!)

  • 3 cups organic pastry flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup treacle (or corn syrup or honey if you dont have treacle)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp ginger curd (optional but very good)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans or 2 tbsp (or more) vanilla essence
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cream (if needed)

Preheat your oven to 175C (350F), and butter two cake tins, and line with baking paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and ginger powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, treacle, ginger curd and eggs. Set aside while you melt the butter into the hot water in a small saucepan, over medium heat.

Whisk the melted butter and water into the sugar/molasses mixture, and stir in the fresh ginger. It really depends on how strong your ginger is – so I always add 1/2 cup first, and then taste. Add more until you get a peppery almost overwhelmingly ginger taste. Remember that the heat of the oven will mute some of that sting.

Stir the flour mixture into the large bowl, and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins, and bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a cake tester is inserted and comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.

Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool, in the pan, for about 5 – 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, add the cream cheese to a stand mixer bowl, and beat for a few minutes until it attains a softened consistency. Add the icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat. I always like to taste the frosting at each tablespoon of sugar, because I dislike icing that is too sweet. Split the vanilla pods and scrape out the beans and add to the frosting. Beat for a few seconds more until the vanilla is totally integrated. Add a tablespoon of cream (or milk) if the mixture is too stiff.

A Trifecta of Ginger CakeCentre a cake round on a serving plate, and ice the top. Place the second cake round on top, and ice the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate until half an hour before serving.

Enjoy!

Sticky Fresh Ginger Cake

6 Jul

We made the dough for Chicago deep dish pizza tonight, and Ezril and AngelKitten decided to stay to watch the Netherlands – Uruguay game. Though we had already had dinner, we felt like something warm, tasty and comforting for a snack. I checked what was in the cupboard, and found the ingredients for a fluffy yet sticky, warm and crusty fresh ginger cake. Oh wow, was this good. We devoured it as soon as it was out of the oven (a bit of a mistake, we should have reigned in our greed and waited five minutes!) and it warmed us with love and companionship as it fed us.

This is a great tea cake – quick to put together, and so very welcoming. You could use powdered ginger instead, but I love the sharpness of fresh.

For a 9 inch cake pan, you will need:

  • 2 cups flour – 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup all purpose (or all all purpose if you have no cake flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 – 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger or 2 – 3 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 stick / 8 tbsp butter (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer or ginger ale
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • A few tbsp caster sugar

Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk gentle to combine.

In a saucepan, over medium to low heat, combine butter, golden syrup and brown sugar until just combined, and the butter has melted.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine buttermilk, milk ginger beer, egg and vanilla, and beat with a fork to combine.

Pour the butter mixture into the flour, and beat with a whisk to incorporate, and then beat in the buttermilk mixture. You will have a very liquid cake batter.

Pour into cake tin and bake for 30 – 45 minutes, until the top has turned golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. The cake will be fluffy at the edges and sticky gooey in the centre. A delightful combination!

Sieve a few tablespoons of caster sugar over the top of the cake, and leave to cook for at least 5 minutes before slicing from the pan and enjoying.

If you really want to gild the lily, this would be pretty extraordinary with some lemon curd slathered over the top instead of caster sugar. It would be great baked in loaf tins as well, and sliced. Excellent with a very old cheddar or other sharp cheese. And this is perfect summer picnic cake. Any which way, enjoy with love!

Special thanks to AngelKitten again for keeping track of the cooking ingredients, and to Ezril for tasting!

All photographs copyright Chan KY