Recipe: Ginger Cake

by Sue

Before I left Texas behind to relocate to the Big Apple, I wanted to use up as many things in the pantry as I could because I knew my parents were never going to do anything with them. I’m the only one in the household that even uses the oven, so needless to say there was lots of baking in the Kitchen of Sue. For dinner, I made these sweet and sour pork baby spare ribs, and the batter required only two egg whites which left me with two yolks. I was also craving something with ginger so I whipped up a ginger cake.

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When I finally got settled in the apartment, I branched out from cooking bulk meals to baking. Cooking and baking really relieve my stress, especially baking. Because I left everything at home – my hand mixer included – I’m left to cream butter and sugar and make meringue by hand. SO MUCH ARM WORK. I feel like I should have amazing biceps by now, but alas, I don’t. Sadface. BUT at least I still end up with pretty yummo foodstuffs. Last week, I remade another version of the ginger cake:

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You can see they’re kind of different. The top cake is more like brownies and the bottom is more like a cake-cake in that it’s puffy. The texture (they’re both rather dense) and tastes, however, are pretty much the same. I just made less in the first picture, and in the second I added baking powder and used whole eggs instead of yolks. So I’ll provide recipes for each of them, just because this is confusing even me right now. Whatever, my bad.

First Cake:

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Ingredients:

2 egg yolks
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare your baking dish. If you’ve finished off your butter, you can use that wax paper to butter your pan before tossing it out. Sometimes, I’ll use a paper towel, pour a little of oil into it and wipe the edges of the pan to get it ready. Or you know, you can spray it with non-stick butter/veg oil spray like Pam’s.

2. Beat egg yolks, molasses, sugar, and butter together. (I had my hand mixer at this point so it was so much easier!) The color of this will be light and the texture will be airy.

3. Mix dry ingredients together. I use one of those sieves to sift, but you can easily use a fork to whisk these together. Just be careful with all the flour that may or may not get everywhere.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. I usually continually stir my wet mix while pouring in the dry mix into the bowl.

5. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Usually, I will pull it out at 20 minutes, insert a toothpick in the center, and when you remove the toothpick and it’s clean, the cake is finished and ready. Otherwise, you just leave it in for the extra five minutes until that test toothpick comes out clean.

Second Cake:

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Ingredients:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (a stick)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Coat your baking pan with butter and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. You can use from the same amount of flour that you poured out for this recipe.

2. Mix your dry ingredients together by sifting it or whisking it gently. Your dry ingredients are the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, molasses, and milk until everything is smooth and incorporated.

4. Whisk the dry ingredients, a little at a time, into the wet mix until combined. Transfer the prepared mixture into your baking dish and spread evenly.

5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Again, test the center of the cake with a toothpick after about 45 minutes, and if it comes out clean, then remove from the oven.

Serving suggetions:

I served my slices of cake warm, a la mode. You can also dust the tops with powdered sugar  or even serve with a dollop of whipped cream on the top! Cheese cream frosting would also be another topping.

[Quick recipe for cream cheese frosting:

4 oz. room-temperature, unsalted butter

4 oz. softened cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Just whisk until all is combined and smooth. If you’re mixing by hand, prepare for an epic workout!]

Happy eating!

 

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