Saturday, May 10, 2008

Something Gingery and Sweet

No, not another picture of Tibby...

I decided to bake the weekend's treat a little early and to use one of my new honey purchases, Vipers Blugoss (borage honey from New Zealand) and Tasmanian lavender honey.

This recipe is new to me: a friend of mine brought me a slice of cake to work that really tickled my tastebuds. This was spicy, not too sweet, and very much the sort of thing you could eat at almost anytime: breakfast, tea, or after dinner. The recipe is from Regan Daley's excellent In the Sweet Kitchen. It's called a sticky gingerbread, but I would describe it as a very moist, spicy cake.

I've copied it here, with my notes at the bottom:


Black Sticky Gingerbread

Serves 10 to 12

Dark, moist and not overly sweet, with that almost-burnt caramel and spice flavour, this is the ideal anytime (read: breakfast!) cake. My grandmother would never forgive me if I didn’t recommend whipped cream as an accompaniment

1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup water
¾ cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
¾ cup flavourful honey, such as a dark wildflower, berry or chestnut
1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup 2% milk
1 packed tbsp grated fresh ginger root

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" x 2" baking pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to hang over two opposite edges by a couple of inches. This overhang will make removing the cake from the pan clean and simple.

2. Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan and place over low heat. Stir the mixture frequently until the butter is melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all spice and cloves and set aside. When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter in four additions, using big, long strokes. Don't be concerned if you can't get all the lumps out - settle for most of them! Stir in the grated ginger.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 1-1/4 hours to 1-1/2 hours, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then, using the overhang of parchment, lift the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Well-wrapped in plastic, this gingerbread actually improves with age. If stored at room temperature, it will have a sponge-cakey texture and will keep for about 4 days. Refrigerated, it becomes stickier, denser and wonderfully chewy and will last at least a week. Allow the cake to return to room temperature before serving. This cake is fabulous warm, and the only adornment it needs is mounds of softly whipped cream.


I baked this in buttered bundt pan and the time was much less than 1-1/4 hours, in fact it was exactly 50 minutes. I also left out the grated fresh ginger, but I'll try this next time.


glamah16 said...

I love Ginger Bread( no one else around me does). Now afetr seeing this I need to make some more.Reminder: Add black strap molaases ro shopping list.

india said...

Viper's Bugloss a.k.a. Paterson's Curse a.k.a. Salvation Jane....just another example of the importance of binary nomenclature in plant identification. the scientific appellation of this plant is Echium plantagineum (i.e. not borage).
According to CSIRO research in Australia this particular honey is mildly toxic and should not be consumed by pregnant women or very young children (horses shouldn't eat the plant, either). I photographed a similar label in a New Zealand supermarket last year, while wearing a wry grin of amusement. mind you it would be fairly tricky to train your bees to ignore the huge fields of purple flowers that carpet South Australia each spring...

willow said...

I adore gingerbread. This looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing...I must make it very soon. :)

Bachelor said...

OK.. you're my type of girl... let's dig into that chocolate... beautiful pictures... I love it!....yummy!
The Bach

Blog Princess G said...

Thanks all!

Tumbleweed: Gosh! Gulp. I'll check that label out again. Should I be nervous?

The Caked Crusader said...

Yum. You should definitely try it again with the grated fresh ginger - it will be even more delicious!It is a fine looking cake and I love your cake dome too - beautiful