Fresh Ginger Cake [David Lebovitz]
I’m obsessed with Dala horses. Ok maybe obsessed is a bit too strong a word. But I will always smile when I see one. The little painted horses remind me so strongly of a trip to Sweden that my younger brother and I took a few years ago with our three German cousins. Away from the watchful eye of any parents, aunts or uncles – it was our little snippet of freedom.
So when I found out Ikea was selling a set of Dala horse pans, I knew I had to have them.
And I knew exactly what kind of cake I wanted to bake in them too. If Dala horses are what I see when I think of that trip, then what I smell is the spicy gingery Pepparkakor biscuits we bought by the tubful to eat in our hostel room.
Maybe a bit unconventionally, I used my homemade Masala Chai mix (which you can find the recipe for in this post) as a substitute for all the ground spices in the recipe. I figured they’d be a lot fresher than the stale ground spices in my cupboard.
Believe me when I tell you this concoction smelled amazing.
The mixture is super duper ultra runny because of all the water in the recipe. So make sure you line the pan if you’re using a springform!! Otherwise DOOM.
The cake was so ultra delicious. I was a bit worried that having so much fresh ginger in there would be overwhelming, but it’s just perfect and a tiny bit spicy – just how I wanted. The cake is perfectly moist and not too sweet either – the molasses made it deliciously dark and dense. (Next time I might try it with a lighter treacle though, as I couldn’t find a light molasses) Perfect with a cup of tea.
The recipe makes quite a lot of batter – so I was able to fill the two horse molds AS WELL as this loaf tin. (Perfect! Means there’s an uglier cake for me to eat while I decorated the horsie cakes.)
Definitely going to keep this recipe to make again later.
Fresh Ginger Cake (by David Lebovitz)
1/2 a cup of fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses (it can be hard to find molasses here in Australia, let alone mild – you can substitute treacle, or golden syrup instead)
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar because I like the taste)
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut (I used light olive oil here)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 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 chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater). Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.
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.
(recipe by David Lebovitz, via Epicurious)