23 May 2008

Ginger-Ginger Cake

So this simple recipe thing is working very well for getting my confidence back. This week I decided to try Chez Lorette's Ginger-Ginger Cake, and I certainly enjoy the flavours. The ginger flavour is strong, and the sweetness is subtle. I wouldn't necessarily call it a cake - I think it's more like a sweet quickbread given how dense it is. That said, I wouldn't mind it being a tad bit more moist or more cake like. Tasty, but could use improvement. Next time I may try using less flour, more egg, more Muscat and oil, or just beating the whole thing with an electric mixer instead of only one step. I do love the crackly golden crust, though, and it's great drenched in Muscat for dessert. I'm including the recipe here in full, just in case you happen not to be fluent in French. (What on earth? Get cracking!)

I recommend doing some prep work ahead of time, and then it's just easy, step-by-step mixing all the way through. Preheat the oven to 400. Grate a small piece of ginger (the goal is a tablespoon, but I never measure something like this). It's always better to buy small pieces of ginger. For some reason they taste better. I try to do no bigger than my thumb. Pour 100 mL vegetable oil and 100 mL Muscat into a liquid measuring cup so that they're ready to go. That's the lovely colour you see here. If you don't know Muscat, you really should. This was a lovely bottle that I found at the kind of expensive grocery store, $15 being the cheapest one they had. It's very strong though, almost like sherry. The variety I used to drink all the time in the Languedoc is honey-coloured and very sweet, and I've also had a ruby red one that was quite good with cheesecake.

I digress. Measure 150 g of sugar and dump in a mixing bowl with three eggs, then measure out 300 g of flour so that it's ready to go as well. Now take your electric mixer and beat the eggs and sugar until light. Here's another place I might have gotten a fluffier cake. My eggs were pale, but could theoretically have been paler. I was afraid of overmixing, which I've done with a couple of cakes. Next, mix in the oil and muscat, then the fresh ginger and 1 t powdered ginger. Mix in the flour with a little over 2 t baking powder (a sachet if you're in France). Once that's all nice and incorporated, chop up 50 g crystallised ginger. You can find it in the Asian foods section, and you'll need a sharp knife. Fold that in.

Pour into a buttered or parchment-lined baking pan - the recipe doesn't specify size, but I used a 9" round and it rose up quite nicely. Since it's so bread-like, I might also try a loaf pan. Bake ten minutes, then lower the heat to 320 (or 325 if you don't have a digital display for your oven). Bake another forty minutes or until it tests clean in the centre. I checked at thirty and the centre tested clean, but it looked gooey in the cracks on the sides, so I let it go to thirty, which was perfect for me. As you can see, I've been enjoying slices for breakfast with yoghurt and fresh kiwi. I removed the kiwi from the skin to take the photo, but if you're not familiar with the French way of eating kiwi and still slice yours without peeling, I highly recommend slicing and half and eating with a spoon. Why didn't we think of that?

Don't forget - You still have a little over a week to get in those AVF #3 entries! I need your savoury tarts, pies, quiches, etc. by Saturday, May 31st.


Kat said...

What effect does using a loaf pan versus a 9" round have?

Eric said...

gosh you get me hungry, im terrible, i prefer to buy my food, you inspire me though, perhaps ill not be lazy and cook one day

Sylvie said...

Looking good!

Judith said...

Kat- It isn't so much that it would change the cake itself (though it might), it's more just something about being used to making sweet breads in loaf pans.

Eric - Haha, thank you! I can be lazy too, but this blog is just where you see the not-lazy days ;-)

Sylvie- Thanks!