Saturday, December 19, 2015

Three Kinds of Ginger

Although I've always loved gingerbread, I was an adult before I discovered the joys of fresh ginger and candied ginger. Of late I've been increasing the amount of ginger in my diet since it is not only an effective anti-inflammatory, but it tastes wonderful. Fresh ginger does have some natural heat to it, but I find that I enjoy that much more than the heat from, say, hot peppers.

One way to enjoy three kinds of ginger; fresh, candied and ground dried ginger; is by making gingerbread cake. I recently tried a new recipe that uses all three and it works really well in a Bundt cake pan. It's called the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread and it's a recipe from Epicurious. I think I decided to try it because the first ingredient is one cup of stout (like Guinness). It also has lots of spices, not just ginger. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom are also used. The strong flavor of molasses comes from molasses itself, but also from dark brown sugar. The only think it was lacking was the candied ginger, so I chopped up a tablespoon of that and added it anyway. It tended to go to the bottom of the pan, which became the top of the cake. I found that out because it got in the way of slicing the beginning of some slices, but I still think it adds a necessary element to the cake.

This makes a full Bundt cake, so make sure that your pan is a full sized one, which I think is a ten-cup capacity or larger one. I baked mine in a pan that looked like a circle of Christmas trees. For decoration I sifted on just a little powdered sugar, so they looked like snowy trees. Very pretty and perfect for a party, or your own holiday table.

This gingerbread is moist, spicy, mouthwatering (perhaps due to the wonderful fragrance of the stout and all those spices), with a fine crumb and sturdy form. Everyone who tried it was delighted, especially those who added a dollop of whipped cream to their serving.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see what I made for the Cake Slice Bakers!

Adapted from
Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread
from Epicurious

1 C stout (like Guinness which is what I used)
1 C dark molasses
1/2 t baking soda
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 T ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cardamom
1 T freshly grated fresh, peeled ginger root
1 T finely diced moist candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 C packed dark brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
3/4 C vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-inch (10-12 cups) Bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars and fresh ginger. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into Bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners' sugar, or serve with whipped cream.

As a reward for reading to the end, here is a recent shot of the sunset in our wintery sky. We have been having rain on and off, which is such a blessing!, so there are often clouds in the sky at sunset. Winter sunsets seem to have a wonderful fragile quality to them that I love.


  1. I am such a sucker for ginger that even when making gingersnaps I use three kinds AND black pepper. I would have been a terrible person in Medieval times because I would have probably been a thief, just to get the good spices. Yum.

    I like that shaped bundt pan - with just the powdered sugar it's perfect. King Arthur Flour has a lovely powdered lemon juice that I now mix with powdered sugar -- it gives a lovely burst of unexpected citrus in a sifted application that's really delicious, and goes SO well with gingerbread.

  2. I know what you mean about spices, especially during the cold months. It would be worth the risk. Perhaps we would have been the bakers and could snitch bits without much trouble?

    I love the idea of mixing the lemon powder with the powdered sugar. My favorite this with gingerbread is my Mom's lemon sauce so I know it would be wonderful!