Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ginger and Spice and Everything Nice


So here is my second attempt at Sugar Low Friday. I ended up making the Spiced Ginger Cake after all..... I used honey instead of granulated sugar. Well... I used one cup of honey for one cup of the sugar... I still used 1/2 cup regular sugar. And there was sugar in the glaze... but hey.... subbing SOME honey was a start. I did end up having fresh ginger after all.... I had forgotten that I had some in the freezer.



This is a lovely little cake. She's not an all out smack you in the face with her stunning good looks type... she is more the "she has a great personality" type. I followed the directions to the letter.... even letting the cake sit for a day so the flavors could "come together". I had a slice this morning and it is really nice with coffee. The ginger flavor is much more delicate that I thought it would be. It calls for a cup of chopped crystallized ginger so I figured the ginger flavor would be very pronounced, but it was subtle. Barely there and sweet.

Now, I am not really sure how the substitution of the honey for the sugar affected the cake texture since this is the first time I have made this.... but the cake was delicate and moist. I am sure the honey helped with the moistness as did the glaze... So maybe honey will become a permanent ingredient in this recipe....



Spiced Crystallized Ginger Cake
Before serving this cake, let it stand for a day, well wrapped, so the flavors can develop further. Then enjoy a slice with a cup of tea in the morning or with coffee after dinner.


For the cake:

3 cups cake flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (here is where I used 1 cup of honey)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 cup milk

1 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, tossed with 1 Tbs. flour

For the glaze:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 Tbs. rum

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Grease and flour a rosette cake pan or a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; repeat until well blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating each addition until incorporated before adding more, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the fresh ginger, vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Then fold in the crystallized ginger. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are slightly higher than the center.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool the cake upright in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.

Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper and remove the cake from the pan. (If using a 9-by-13-inch pan, keep the cake in the pan.) Generously brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool to room temperature.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serves 16.


Comments on "Ginger and Spice and Everything Nice"

 

Blogger Natalia said ... (January 29, 2006 9:17 AM) : 

This cake looks so good. You've got some good self-control, I usually can't wait for things to cool completely before the urge/need to try them takes over.

 

Blogger Alicat said ... (January 29, 2006 9:27 AM) : 

gorgeous photo's girlie! i love your honey comb in the jar..so cool. :o)

 

Blogger Sam said ... (January 29, 2006 12:51 PM) : 

wow! two entries! are you going to eat all that????

I amso please you took to the challenge with such gusto!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (January 30, 2006 5:58 AM) : 

Um - are those BEES in that honey jar???

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (January 30, 2006 10:08 PM) : 

I can't believe the incredible dishes that people have come up with for Sugar Low Friday. Yours is one of the best I've seen. I can almost smell it through the screen.

Great job! (And beautiful pics!)

 

Blogger michelle said ... (January 31, 2006 1:10 PM) : 

I like your description of a cake with personality...I think it's perfect. But I'm also smitten with that gorgeous jar of honey...where ever did you get that?!

 

Blogger Chan said ... (January 31, 2006 5:00 PM) : 

Michelle..
I bought that jar of honey from a road side produce stand in between Florence and Huntsville, AL. The honey itself came from Scottsboro, AL. The market is so cool... I send Alicat a jar of biscuit molasses I bought at the same time.. neat stuff. And all local.
Cheers,
Chan

 

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