Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Ready for Dessert: Fresh Ginger Cake

It's already November, and I feel like I'm behind.  I haven't made one single thing with pumpkin yet.  Nothing.  Does that make me a bad seasonal cook?  Probably.  And I like pumpkin, so I'm not sure what my deal is.  So I decided to get with the program and make something seasonal.  And I chose...something that isn't pumpkin.  But hey, it's still spicy and delicious!  Just like pumpkin pie!  Without the pumpkin!

I really enjoy gingerbread, but so often it's bland and rubbery.  And that's just not fun.  So I thought I would give the master of desserts a try, and whip up his famous gingerbread.  Sorry, ginger cake.  The darn thing has a whole piece of ginger in it, so I knew I wasn't going to get some sad little gingerbread reject.  This would be GINGER cake.  And it lived up to every promise, getting better as time went on, like a good wine.  Seriously, just make it.  And don't forget the whipped cream.

Fresh Ginger Cake
From Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

1 (4-ounce) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup mild-flavored molasses
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform or round cake pan with 2-inch sides and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or with a chef's knife, chop the ginger until very fine.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then stir in the baking soda.  Whisk the hot water into the molasses mixture, then add the chopped ginger.

Gradually sift the flour mixture over the molasses mixture, whisking to combine.  Add the eggs and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepare springform or cake pan and bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Let cool completely.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan.  Invert the cake onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, then reinvert it onto a serving platter.

Serving:  Serve wedges of this cake with whipped cream, a favorite ice cream, or a fruit compote.

Storage:  Because this cake is so moist, it keeps well for up to 5 days at room temperature.  It can be frozen for up to 1 month.

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