Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Very much ginger cake

Loads of fresh ginger in this cake and although I really like ginger this looked like it was just too much of a good thing. I planned to take it to my parents; my dad happens to love ginger.
On second thought, and first sample, I'm happy this makes such a tall and large one so we can share, it's simply wonderful! The original recipe from is from "Room for Dessert" by David Lebovitz, is found here on Epicurious and here in grams. Yes, it really has 120 grams of fresh ginger in it, that's 4 imperial ounces for you.

Nothing rubbery, no hockey puck leaden-ness, and surprisingly with that amount it's not shout-in-your-face ginger. We really liked it a lot, I warned one of the ginger-fearing boys and he happily worked his way through a slice. No problem. The things I did in brown, my remarks at the bottom of the post.

Fresh Ginger cake
(from "Room for dessert" by David Lebovitz)
makes 1 9" round cake

4 ounces (120g) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (after grating I had 100 gr. fresh grated ginger)
1 cup (250ml) mild molasses (I mixed pear syrup, Dutch "stroop" and date syrup to 220 ml***)
1 cup (
190g) sugar
1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups (350g) flour
(added 1 tsp baking powder)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (250ml) water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Peel, slice, and grate the ginger. Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper and baking powder if using**.

Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.

Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.

Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.

My notes:
* I used one of those ceramic dishes with protruding pins usually used to grate garlic, it makes a nice puree.

** It's not in the original recipe but I added 1 tsp of baking powder. My cakes have a habit of not rising and I didn't want to chance it after I used every bit of treacle/syrup/stroop in the house. Furthermore I'm not a fan of very moist cakes so this was my way of trying to prevent that. It worked great but by any means follow the original, this is just me.

*** It was really a matter of using up all kinds of thick syrups I had, but if you can't find molasses, a mix of treacle and golden syrup will work as well. For the Dutch: our keukenstroop!


  1. Hmmm dat lijkt mij ook heel lekker (en gaat op de to do list), maar nu eerst de Viennese Striesel nog. :-))

  2. Popped in to say hi! This looks gorgeous!

  3. My last two 'cakes' I've used a huge amount of fresh ginger and just been delighted. I'll put this one on the list to make.

  4. Wow great creation. Thanks for sharing this one.

  5. This recipe for ginger cake by David L seems to be quite popular right now. Looks delish.

  6. This looks like a perfect cake for Christmas!

  7. Delicious in everyway...I love this cake high on ginger! It's so tall & beautiful! WOW!!

  8. By adding different sugars (or invert sugars, such as Golden Syrup) you're actually encouraging a moist cake: the different shape of the sugar molecules prevent crystallization, resulting in a moister cake. :)

    Was it gingery enough? You weren't tempted to add powdered ginger & crystallized ginger, as well?

  9. Oof David.. molecular science! :D Thanks for the explanation, it really helps to know what things are doing.

    It might seem strange but I actually had crystallized ginger, all chopped and ready to go... Decided against it though.

  10. I've just been out shopping, especially for black peppercorns, to go in our own version of this. :)

  11. ja het was echt een goeie deze. En eigenlijk zo verhipte simpel te maken ook! (en ik houd niet eens echt mega van gember, kan je nagaan!)


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