Fabulous Ginger Cake

Just finished The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, for June's Cook the Book event. What a lovely little fairy story. Though meant for children, I enjoyed this tale of how forgiveness, love and understanding hold a force strong enough to conquer evil.

The dwarf cook also welded an extraordinary power in turning out prodigious amounts of delicious sounding food for the Manor house meals, particularly the final tea, given to reconcile formerly warring parties at the book's conclusion.

I've been wanting to make a Yorkshire pudding with roast beef. It was served in the Manor house, but somehow just didn't go with this warm weather. Gingerbread however, is good for all seasons. In winter with a scoop of whipped cream and in summer with fruit sorbet or vanilla ice cream. It calls to mind a wonderful English style tea party.

I printed out this recipe several months ago from Deb at the Smitten Kitchen site, and had been meaning to try it, so this was a perfect time. I'll be bringing it to a wedding reception, and will add a photo from that to my post as an addendum.

This Gramercy Tavern recipe calls (appropriately) for a cup of Guinness or oatmeal stout. Since I've tried the famous Chocolate Stout Cake and found it awesome, I figured this should be good. I got the oatmeal stout, and thought (ha) I had all the remaining ingredients. This seems to happen a lot. You're ready to bake, and then don't have one little thing. In this case, we needed a cup of dark molasses, not blackstrap, which is what I had. My daughter had about half a cup so I filled it the rest of the way with Agave Syrup. I figured, hey, this syrup has been in my fridge for awhile, might as well use it. Though I did add a few tablespoons of the blackstrap too. So There.

Also, as is often the case, I couldn't resist a bit more fiddling. Instead of 2 tablespoons of ground ginger, I used 1, plus a tablespoon of fresh, raw, finely minced ginger. Since I had it. Other than those two changes, I followed the recipe. Since many of you may not have either Agave Syrup or raw ginger handy, I'll give the original ingredients list here:

1 cup Guinness or oatmeal Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola)
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in large saucepan and remove from heat. Be careful, I used a medium pan, and almost failed to grab it off the heat in time, before it boiled up and over the top.
Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift the dry ingredients together onto a piece of waxed paper. Whisk the eggs and sugars well in a large bowl. Whisk in the oil, and then the molasses mixture. Add the flour and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into your bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in the middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50-55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with unsweetened whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or a fruit sorbet.

This cake is better made a day ahead. In fact, it's fabulous the same day. I had to try it. To make sure it was ok to bring. Not poisonous or anything. So moist, with a bit of crunch to the crust that is delightful. Rich, spicy, extraordinary and shouldn't be designated bread of any sort. It is an elegant Ginger Cake. A real keeper, and I wouldn't change a thing.


Rachel said...

What a great post for the Cook the Books event. I enjoyed reading your comments about the book.

Sunny said...

Happy Birthday!!May you enjoy the company of friends and old and new, bask in the beauty of the island, take a stroll on a secluded beach, and have delicious vegan food with lovely ginger cake.

Joanne said...

Ginger is definitely good all year round. The beer must have given it that extra kick. I am also such a scatterbrained cook that I find myself having to substitute things, but I think that makes them more interesting. Great review of the book!

Foodycat said...

I love the addition of fresh ginger! I often think gingerbread just isn't ginger-y enough, but there is no danger of that with yours! Great choice for Cook the Books.

Claudia said...

Thanks, I did have a lovely day and the wedding was beautiful as well. Don't know about vegan (though the bride is vegetarian) there was plenty of meat available, including a freshly butchered and bbq'd steer, by the cowboy himself.

ARLENE said...

Great review and awesome cake. Wow! I'd love a slice right now.

Debinhawaii said...

Great post and a delicious-looking Ginger Cake. Glad you liked the book. Hope you can join us for the next one!



Suzie said...

Your cake looks wonderful - just the thing for an afternoon in Moonacre woods.