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Lebovitz does not disappoint.  Seriously, if you are ever looking for a new cookbook, you can’t go wrong with one of his.  He is also exceptionally witty on Twitter!  We had some family over on Saturday to celebrate my brother and sister-in-law’s purchase of a new home, as well as my husband’s promotion to offensive coordinator for the Varsity team next year!  Unfortunately a promotion in name only, but still a reason to celebrate – I don’ t have to be there at 5:00pm for the sophomore games on Friday nights anymore!  Kidding.   But the hubs is very excited.

Back to baking.  I had some leftover ginger from the chicken meatballs I made earlier that week, so I wanted to find something to use it up.  Enter the fresh ginger cake.  This cake turned out delicious, and I felt like it was somewhat healthy because there isn’t any butter, and I substituted applesauce for the vegetable oil.  So we’ll call it a guilt-free dessert!  And don’t worry, it tastes great too.  I used raspberries to make a simple compote by adding sugar and lemon juice and simmering for a few minutes.  I think any combination of berries would work, or a plum-raspberry compote as David suggests in his book.

Fresh Ginger Cake, adapted from Ready for Dessert, by David Lebovitz

4-ounce piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup mild-flavored molasses

1 cup sugar

1 cup applesauce  (the original recipe calls for vegetable oil, but the applesauce turned out fine!)

2 ½ 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, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  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 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.

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 re-invert it onto a serving platter.

I served this cake with raspberry compote and whipped cream.  Good reviews all around!

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