Thursday, May 25, 2006

SHF: All Spiced Up

Ginger Cake

This is officially my first entry into Sugar High Friday! Ruth from Once Upon A Feast is hosting for the month of May and this month’s theme is ginger. As a new convert who is singing the praises of ginger, I was particularly excited to rise to this challenge.

As a child I never liked ginger, my immature palate had not yet accommodated for its pungent aroma and spicy flavour. And then all of a sudden I get older and see the light, I am converted and for a period of time all I could make were recipes that included ginger. Luckily those days are over and my ginger neurosis is now being carefully managed. However, this single-minded application of ginger helped to increase my repertoire of ginger-related recipes so all I needed to do for this SHF was access my ginger-recipe storehouse and take my pick. What I decided to make was not necessarily my most impressive ginger recipe, if there were any to speak of, but my most favourite one- Sticky Gingerbread.

As mentioned, this gingerbread has to be my favourite hands down. Instead of using molasses to create the stickiness, a syrup using light beer, dark muscovado sugar and bicarbonate of soda is made instead. Using muscovado sugar really gives the gingerbread a depth of sweetness that you would not achieve using other sugars, even dark brown sugar. So really try to source this sugar as that it is definitely worthwhile. Nigella Lawson first introduced me to muscovado sugar with her Peanut Butter Squares recipe, and upon hearing that it was apparently "healthier" than conventional sugar I was sold. Most gourmet food stores and organic wholefoods stores in Sydney stock muscovado sugar, if it is not already available at conventional supermarkets.

I used the gingerbread recipe from Annie Bell’s Gorgeous Cakes, which also shows you how to make a rhubarb fool to fill the cake with. I am, as of now not a rhubarb enthusiast so I simply chose to fill the cake with some whipped cream which works just as well. Likewise, you can have the gingerbread all by itself as it is delicious either way. If you want to dress it up as I have, cut out any shape you like from cardboard or parchment paper and sift icing sugar through the template. Annie Bell also suggests adding some food colouring to the icing sugar if you want other coloured shapes.

Ginger Cake

The bread can become quite rich, expecially if paired with the cream or rhubarb fool, so I would suggest something light and soothing to drink it with. We happened to have some ginger tea in the pantry so it seemed quite appropriate to serve it with a drizzle of honey, but any herbal tea would also be nice.

Ginger Cake



Ruth said...

What a beautiful post..gorgeous photos and delicious sounding recipe....a great first for SHF.

Thanks for sharing

jenjen said...

Ruth- Thank You so much for your encouraging remarks. I really appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing everyone else's creations!

nosheteria said...

Your ginger cake "sandwiches" look dark and moist-looking. Yum.

Helen said...

I agree. Ginger is definitely one of those adult tastes which once uncovered, becomes an increasing obsession.

The idea of substituting molasses with light beer, muscovado and bicarb is so intriguing too...

Natalia said...

It looks delicious. I love your photos! I'm the same way with ginger. Used to hate it, but now I appreciate its flavor.

jenjen said...

Nosheteria- Thanks, I guess you could call them "sandwiches" although I never thought of that before.

Helen- I think for me, making the syrup is the highlight of the recipe. It tastes delicious by itself and I sometimes can't help dipping my finger in for a taste.

From our Kitchen- Thank you. Yes ginger is one of those "adult" tastes that im glad I have grown to love.

linda said...

Great cake! I like the addition of beer in the syrup.

gattina said...

your cake so warm and so cute! Oh with that ginger tea... a great afternoon treat!

jenjen said...

Linda- Thanks, I agree that the beer makes for an interesting recipe.

Gattina- Thanks so much, it is certainly a great snack escpecially as we enter the colder months here in Sydney.

Gabriella True said...

looks like PERFECTION> great photo too.

My Life As A Reluctant Housewife