11 September, 2013

Ginger, Lemon, and Yum!

Something I love to do is bake for other people.  A lady I know from church that is from England happens to love a good ginger cake every once in a while.  I'd never heard of "sticky stem" ginger in all of my life.  This is an English ingredient...that would be why!  When I picked up a jar of it from one of the local shops I smelled it and tasted it...  Basically what you get with sticky stem ginger is a bit of ginger pared down to a ball shape and then preserved in a syrup.  Voila!  Grate that and toss it in a cake....well, now you're talkin!

There are three ingredients in this cake that you may have to look in a specialty shop for.  "Sticky Stem Ginger", "Lyle's Golden Syrup", and "Mixed Spice".  If you can't find mixed spice in your grocery store, a recipe follows that is as close to mixed spice as I've been able to get.  Lyle's Golden Syrup (near as I can tell) seems to be a combination of corn syrup and honey.  I have no idea what the ratios are, but I suppose you could try half corn syrup and half honey...so for this recipe, a 1/4 c. of each corn syrup and honey.  If you want to step it up a notch you could try "treacle" instead of Lyle's..."treacle" in England is black strap molasses.  If you don't have black strap, regular will do in a pinch and lend an IMMENSE amount of flavor to this cake.  So that would be a FULL CUP of molasses if you omit the Lyle's.

Sticky Stem Ginger Bundt Cake with Lemon Icing 
2 c. self-raising flour
1 tsp. soda
1 T. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground mixed spice
1 stick of unsalted butter , cut into cubes
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. black strap molasses/treacle
1/2 c. Lyle’s golden syrup
1 c. soy milk
1/3 c. drained stem ginger, finely grated
1 egg

3.5 T. organic cane powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon oil, optional

Mixed Spice
1 T. allspice
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 T. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. mace
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger

Mix spices together and store in an airtight container.  This spice mixture would be called for in a traditional English "mince pie" as well and would work beautifully in a pumpkin pie rather than "pumpkin pie spice".

**This cake habitually falls in the center when NOT baked in a bundt pan.  I made it multiple times in a 10 inch round, 3 inch deep cake pan and it caved in the middle each time.  It ONLY results properly in a bundt pan.**

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spray your bundt pan with a cooking spray that has flour in it or with a brand like Wilton's Cake Release.  Baker's Joy is what I used and it released perfectly.

Put the flour, soda and all of the spices in a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs or mix it on the lowest setting in your stand mixer until you reach the crumby consistency.

Put the sugar, treacle/molasses, golden syrup and milk in a medium saucepan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to just below the boiling point.

Add the grated stem ginger to the flour mixture, then pour in the milk mixture, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon.  Break in the egg and beat it into the mixture until everything is combined and it resembles a thick pancake batter.  Pour this into a prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick clean.

Remove it from the oven to cool on a wire rack.  Allow to cool at LEAST 15 minutes before inverting the pan and removing the cake to cool completely.  

**IF you would like to save this cake for a later time, freeze it at this point.  It keeps for up to 1 month.  Remove from the freezer and allow to sit until it comes to room temperature (about 4 hours) then proceed to make and pour on the icing.

To make the icing mix together the powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir until you have a smooth, gooey consistency.  If it doesn't taste "lemony" enough, feel free to add more zest or lemon oil if you have it.

This cake, once iced, keeps for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.

Dairy-Free Sticky Stem Ginger Cake


Imagine the fabulously pungent flavor of gingerbread cookies transformed into a perfectly textured, moist slice of bundt cake then kissed with a bright, sweet lemony smooch.  That's what you have here on a plate.  I made this and failed to have it turn out a couple of times...apparently the third time was the charm and TOTALLY worth the failures to hit the one HUGE success that this cake turned out to be!  Even the Mister who isn't a fan of molasses or ginger quite enjoyed this cake.  The Sprout has always been a fan of gingerbread, so he was easy to please with this concoction.

I hope you try this at least once, don't be afraid of these bold flavors!  It will become a new favorite at the kitchen table.  Have fun!

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