Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ginger Cake

I've never tasted ginger cake before, so i am not too sure how it taste like or if i do like it since other than using ginger to stir-fry and in curry, i don't really like any sweet chinese ginger dessert..even though it is supposed to be good - "get rid of air in the stomach & body" as what my mom would always say! (Yup..during the confinement period after giving birth, one is not suppose to bathe/shower for the entire month and can only wipe yourself with water boiled with ginger!?..and must eat all these ginger stuff like vinegar-ginger pork legs, ginger fried pork, strictly no water but only red-dates-logan-drink..etc etc!?!..yup..i didn't follow not to shower for entire month?! Ew...but i have friends who did though..) The only ginger i do eat are preserved ginger slices but that must be eaten along with century eggs.

Anyway since i had a whole can of black treacle which is going to expire in july, and the ginger cake recipe which i have, requires 125ml of black treacle which is just great (cos it is almost half of the can..hahahaha)!

I wanted to do everything quickly, so i read the recipe in a haste and then measured everything quickly and mixed the batter which i found too runny but didn't suspect anything. I put it in the pan and then into the oven (1 min). I was still thinking about how liquid the batter is and checked my book and realised i missed out 1/2 cup of flour! I quickly took the pan out of the oven, pour it out into the mixing bowl and sift in another 1/2 cup of self-rising four and found the batter still quite runny. So i went to read the book again, line by line..and omg! required only 1 cup of self-rising flour and 1-1/2 cup of plain flour! :P!!! So that means, i added extra 1/2 cup of self-rising flour.. so i compensated by just putting in another cup of plain flour. Well, serves me right for not reading recipe properly!

The cake turned out alright but it did cracked a lot on the surface..i don't know if it is because the mess i made or what..but..overall, the inside of the cake is moist & dense. The icing is good for the hot weather here imo since it doesn't melt and 'crystallize' really quickly! Seriously, i find the cake tastes like gingerbread except in its cake form. The lemon ginger icing compliments the cake beautifully actually. But still i find it weird cos to me this flavor i always associate it with gingerbread house or gingerbread man during Christmas..LOL!

The book mentioned that this recipe is best served two or three days after baking so the flavors have time to develop.

Because i didn't pay attention to the other ingredients when reading this recipe (other than the black treacle!), i will type out this recipe as my!

Ginger Cake
(taken from the Essential Baking Cookbook)


125g (4oz) unsalted butter
1/2 (175g/6oz) cup black treacle (can be replaced by golden syrup)
1/2 (175g/6oz) cup golden syrup
1-1/2 cups (185g/6oz) of plain flour
1 cup (125g/4oz) of self-rising flour
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (165g/5.5oz) firmly packed soft brown sugar
1 cup (250ml/8floz) milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
glace ginger, optional to decorate

Lemon & Ginger Icing

2 cups (250g/8oz) icing sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
30g (1oz) unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp milk
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind

1. preheat the oven to moderate 180c (350f). Lightly greased a deep 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. combine the butter, treacle and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat.
3. sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl, add the sugar and stir until well combined. Make a well in the centre. Add the butter mixture to the well, then pour in the combined milk and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and well combined. our into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-60mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Leave in the tin for 20mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
4. For the lemon and ginger icing, sift the icing sugar into a small heatproof bowl and stir in the ground ginger, butter, milk lemon juice and rind until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Stand the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until smooth and glossy, then remove from heat. Spread over the cake with a flat-bladed knife, Decorate the top with glace ginger, if desired.

Note: If black treacle is unavailable, you can substitute the same amount of golden syrup. This delicious ginger cake can be served the day it is baked but it is best served two or three days after baking so the flavours have time to develop. It will store well for up to a week in an airtight container or can be frozen, uniced, for up to three months. It can also be served uniced and decorated by lightly dusting the top with sifted icing sugar.



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