Friday, November 03, 2023

Spicy Medicine Cake

I love the idea of food as medicine. Since I personally found that more turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic, among other anti-inflammatory substances, helped tremendously in healing my gut, I know that those spices and allium can really help.

A dear neighbor of mine shattered her wrist on the soccer field, so when she had surgery to fix it, I made this dark, moist, spicy gingerbread to take to her that evening, to help with the healing process. She loved it so much that another small cake went to her the next day to keep those anti-inflammatories strong! We laughed about it being medicine, but there is an element of reality to that claim.

Even if you just want to enjoy this gingerbread as a simple dessert, it is worth making. There are three kinds of ginger in it; powdered ginger, fresh ginger, and candied ginger. The ginger is aided by cinnamon and the spiciness is enhanced with the addition of cloves, nutmeg and cardamom, all tied together with molasses and dark brown sugar. The secret ingredient?...stout. It adds a depth of flavor and slight bitterness so you know that this isn't any old's good for what ails you...or at least for zinging your taste buds. 

The recipe calls for baking this in a Bundt pan, but I have a pan that has four smaller Bundt cake wells and it takes just the same amount of batter. The advantage is that you end up with sharable cute cakes. The disadvantage is that all the tiny indentations that make up the patterns of those little cakes are the devil to wash completely clean! Use whatever pan you have that will hold the batter. The smaller cakes took less than 30 minutes to bake. The regular Bundt pan takes close to an hour, or maybe a little more, depending on the accuracy of your oven.

Triple Ginger Gingerbread
Adapted from
Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread
from Epicurious

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

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