Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sticky Ginger Cake

My friends hate ginger cake. It hardly ever shows up in bakeries in Singapore, maybe except during December. In Singapore, ginger's prominently used in Chinese cooking, and I do have fond memories of it garnishing my fish cchouk (congee), salted mince pork patties and even in my chicken rice! 

But the absence of it in desserts is just S. A. D., especially with such a spicy kick that I JUST HAD TO BAKE IT IN A CAKE. It was met with mixed results - approval and delight from grown adults vs. a slight confusion ( + a hasty downing of a cup of water) from younger kids. 

Grating fresh ginger is abit of a chore, but makes the flavour profile that much stronger. Have a merry Christmas in August everybody!

David’s sticky ginger cake (Makes 9 cupcakes)

2-ounce (60-g) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (250 ml) mild-flavored molasses
1/2 cup (or less) (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup soaked rum raisins
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or with a chef’s knife, chop the ginger until very fine. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. Soak raisins in hot water and add 3 tablespoons of rum, leave for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.

3. 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. Drain the raisins and add to mixture.

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

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared 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 before frosting.

Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting (Frosts 9 exactly) 

1/2 package (110g) cream cheese 
30 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1/2 an orange

1. Cream butter till soft and fluffy. Then, beat in zest and vanilla.
2. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix. Finally, blended in cream cheese until smooth. 

Baker's Notes

1. With the fresh ginger and array of spices, this is a fragrant, spicy cake. Not for the fainted hearted!

2. Do grate in some citrus zest in your cream cheese frosting for a flavour boost!

3. I added in raisins from the original recipe, but feel free to substitute in chocolate chips, walnuts etc; THE PANTRY IS YOUR PARTY PLACE! 

4. I topped it with a dollop of apricot jam, apricots go so well with ginger anyway! 

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