24 December 2010

Ginger Spice Cake

I had another craving for ginger, but as I mentioned previously, I couldn't find a ginger spice cake recipe that piqued my interest. So I looked through a bunch of recipes and chose the spice cake that I liked the most, and decided to convert it into a ginger spice cake. I figure even I can manage the addition of a single ingredient :).

What interested me the most about this recipe was the way that the raisins are prepared. Normally you would just allow raisins to plump in a bit of warm water but this recipe is unusual because you actually boil the raisins in butter before adding them to the batter. Not only does it make the raisins nice and juicy, but it also makes them much richer in flavour. The cake benefits as well because the process extracts a lot of the sugars from the raisins.

I halved the recipe but I also altered the proportions of some of the other spices. I increased the amounts of the spices that I feel enhance ginger the most. I also ended up reducing the sugar as well. I think it was a good call. I'm sure if you like things a little sweeter you would be happy leaving it where it is, but I thought that with the small reduction the sweetness was right on. Especially since there is such an abundance of raisins. The ginger that I added was a good amount and not overpowering in the least. There are other ginger spice cake recipes that use an entire tablespoon of ginger and I definitely think you could increase the amount to a full tablespoon and still have a nice balance of flavours. I chose to omit the walnuts in the recipe, mostly because I didn't have walnuts. Afterwards I was happy that I hadn't added them. I don't think the texture variance is necessary, the cake was soft and moist all the way through and nuts would have added a crunch that doesn't belong (but to each their own).

All that being said, maybe the best thing about this cake is the smell, it just smells like Christmas. And that's not to take away anything from the wonderful flavours, but there is just something about the way certain recipes make your house smell that make it worth it just for that.

Christmas is tomorrow and you might not think you have time to add another dessert to your menu, but this cake comes together so quickly that you should go for it. It tastes and smells like Christmas, and like any good Christmas recipe, gives you that warm cozy feeling when you eat it. What's better than that? Trust me, once the cake comes out of the oven you won't regret putting it in :).

~ Adam

Ginger Spice Cake

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 ½ cups all purpose flour (195g)
2/3 cup sugar (134g) – Sugar is considered a dry ingredient in this recipe
2 tsp ginger – If you really enjoy ginger, try increasing the amount to a tablespoon :).
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
1 cup + 2 tbsp water
¼ cup unsalted butter (57g)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cups raisins (120g)

Preheat oven to 375F and grease an 8 inch square pan.

In a small saucepan add butter, water, and raisins. Turn burner to medium heat and with the lid on the pan, bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid, and allow mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl add flour, sugar, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk until ingredients are completely combined.

Add butter-raisin mixture to dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Add egg and stir batter until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan and place in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took 25, you will notice the the top of cake will be quite a deep golden brown).

Allow to cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

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