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MightyD

best of gingercakes

74 posts in this topic

Hmmmm..good point Mighty. But I've made that recipe a gazillion times and no problems with leavening at all.

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My gingerbread recipe got better when I changed the mixing procedure like this: mix the eggs, molasses and butter; mix all dry ingredients and stir in; add boiling water gradually. The top is a bit sticky, but the cake is so moist.

My preferred sauce: mix lemon curd and sour cream approximately half and half. Serve cold with warm cake. Nowadays, I suppose mascarpone could be substituted for sour cream.

I also eat it warm with whipped cream, or warm with salted butter for breakfast. (I use unsalted butter for cooking and baking only.)


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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David's Fresh Ginger Cake is simply wonderful. Make it exactly as he says & you won't be disappointed.

I too have have Room For Dessert & it has provided me with many great desserts.

I put the ginger cake on my menu one year with poached pear,pumpkin seed brittle & riesling sabayon..it was spectacular.

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i too love david lebovitz's fresh ginger cake. i've taken to substituting about 1/4 of the AP flour with cake flour, and adding a bit of salt. it's really lovely.


dexygus

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I misunderstood from the title of this thread that you wanted to make a ginger cake, but it seems that everyone is making gingerbread which is different.

I can't find any molasses here. I will have to go to one of the Anglo stores and see if they have any.

This recipe looks interesting, Fresh Ginger Gingerbread

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the original search was indeed for a ginger CAKE but so many recipes use both cake and bread interchangeably.

baked the BWJ version and the leibovitz version yesterday. i found the BWJ one much denser than the leibovitz version and the molasses taste a little bit too strong as it had a whole 2 cups of it in the recipe. the leibovitz one was much lighter in texture and incredibly moist. it had a lovely, fresh flavour due to the huge amount of fresh ginger but i thought it tasted a bit one-dimensional.

i've baked the cook's illustrated version in the past and while it was one of the better gingerbreads/cakes i've had, i thought that it was pretty standard.

am interested in the recipe that swisskaese just posted above as it has buttermilk in it - might try baking that today.

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yep, tasted it warm from the oven and the next day as well. to me, it tasted just sweet and gingery. it was indeed very good (hubby really liked it) but i want something that will make me weak-in-the-knees good!!

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I made the gingercake with Guinness stout over the weekend. The recipe was directly from Claudia Fleming's "The Last Course". While not bad, I was not thrilled with the flavor of the stout in the cake (and I like Guinness). I thought it left a bitter aftertaste and a somewhat vegetal taste note. It improved a bit on day 2 but I will probably try other recipes first.

I would not suggest reducing the sugar in this recipe.

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I made the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread recipe from Epicurious for Xmas, just as the recipe was written, using Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, two days in advance. Even though it was called gingerbread, it was a cake, not bread: very moist and dense with a bit of stickiness. I was very happy with it, as were a bunch of the guests, especially with slightly sweetened whipped cream.


Edited by adinfinitu (log)

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The Last Course recipe is the one with 1 cup total sugar (1/2 brown, 1/2 granulated white) per the first Epicurious link on this thread. The higher sugar recipe might offset the bitterness.

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Last year I tried the recipe with 1/2 cup each of brown and granulated sugar. I was not very happy with the result. This year I thought I would try it again, thinking I may have done something wrong. I didn't realize there were two versions of it, so I tried the one from Epicurious with 1 cup each type of sugar. It was totally different. Very moist and delicious. Later I realized there were two versions.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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I think I'm going to scale the sugar back on the Gramercy Tavern recipe...the one that calls for 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup white, and THEN molasses too! Some reviewers suggested cutting back to 1/2 cup white sugar. Just thought I'd point that out. :smile: That's the next cake on my list, followed by the fresh ginger cake. The one SwisseKaese posted at the top of this page also looks good!


Edited by Ling (log)

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I have to add this recipe from a SF chefs blog. One of the few blogs I look forward to reading. She posted this recipe for gingerbread on the local PBS stations blogsite.

gingerbread

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Did a side-by-side comparison of the fresh gingercakes today.

First recipe is the one posted by SwissKaese:Fresh gingerbread gingercake

ginger.jpg

Second is the fresh gingercake from Epicurious that I posted on the first page of this thread.

Fresh ginger cake

freshginger.jpg

The second one was really good...it had FOUR TIMES the amount of molasses, and the black pepper gave it a nice bite. :smile:

Both cakes were very moist, and I would use both recipes again for different purposes. :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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They look good Ling. Would you suggest adding more ginger to the first recipe to give it more of a kick?

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Perhaps, but I think it's the amount of molasses in the first recipe that's a bit lacking! I compared the two recipes before I started baking, and they are not all that different (same amount of flour, 2 eggs, roughly same amount of fat and liquid).

The first recipe has 1/4 cup molasses, while the second one has 1 full cup!


Edited by Ling (log)

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^Those cakes look nice. Did you eat them with ice cream or anything to accompany them? Looking at your photos, I was thinking of our local celebrity chef's gingerbread dessert served with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce.

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Perhaps, but I think it's the amount of molasses in the first recipe that's a bit lacking! I compared the two recipes before I started baking, and they are not all that different (same amount of flour, 2 eggs, roughly same amount of fat and liquid).

The first recipe has 1/4 cup molasses, while the second one has 1 full cup!

Ling,

The recipe in Baking with Julia has 2 cups of unsulphured molasses. :shock:

Is there any possibility that you'll make that one? I would be very interested to hear your opinion.

- Kim


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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^Hi Kim, I think I've read your posts in the BWJ thread...you've made that cake before twice now? Three times? Do you enjoy it? It seems like there's too much molasses in it for my tastes...the 2nd fresh ginger cake, with 2 1/2 cups of flour 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup of molasses was just about perfect for me. It's plenty sweet already, in fact. (The BWJ recipe has 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of dark brown sugar, AND 2 cups of molasses for those who don't own the book.) Seems incredibly sweet to me! Is it possible that it is a misprint?

After baking the last few cakes, I think I can kind of estimate what the BWJ gingerbread cakes taste like, and it doesn't sound too appealing...I love molasses, but too much in a recipe makes it bitter and harsh, would you agree? :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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It isn't a misprint. If you read this post, you will see that I thought the same thing. The video proves that the amount is correct.

The BwJ thread has a couple of posts from people who like that recipe. I had hoped that one of them would chime in with the secret to making that recipe work. There must be a trick. Some method that I need to use. And since you're the Queen of Sweets, I thought you might know it. :raz:

I prefer cakes that I can eat as is. No frosting. The fresh ginger cake is great for that. I don't see myself making the BwJ recipe again. I really wanted to like it but it's too much of a waste to make it and pitch it.

So, has anyone else out there made that recipe with 2 cups of molasses and enjoyed the result?

- Kim


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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I made Fresh Ginger Cake last night. This time I used Brer Rabbit Mild molasses. The molasses flavor was stronger than I remember it tasting when I used Grandma's Original.

I grated the ginger using the large holes on my box grater instead of using my Microplane Grater/Zester. Worked grate. :raz: All the stringy stuff got left behind.

The cake has a crunchy sugary crust. My husband said it stuck to his teeth. I don't remember the crust being so, um, crusty. Could be the Brer Rabbit molasses. I served it with a bit of homemade creme fraiche as that's what I had on hand and it helped mellow out the strong molasses flavor. I think some lemon curd would be nice but cut with some whipped cream so the lemon taste would be more subdued.

I rewatched the Julia Child video and found it interesting. They mentioned the professional technique of mise en place. When Julia tasted the cake, she pronounced it the best she'd had. Makes me want to try that recipe again.

So, I am convinced that the ingredient amounts are correct in the Baking with Julia recipe. That leaves the technique and ingredients themselves. Perhaps I need to whip the butter more. Perhaps the molasses used is formulated differently than what I can purchase.


If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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My "Fresh Ginger cake" didn't have a crunchy sugary crust...it was super moist, and the top was slightly sticky. I used Delmonico "Fancy" molasses since I couldn't find a mild molasses. Next time, I'll probably use 14 tbsp molasses and 2 tbsp corn syrup to make the molasses slightly less assertive.

I should mention that to all these recipes, I'm doubling the amount of spices (only after tasting the batter with the amount of spices as written, though) partly b/c my spices aren't all that great, and partly b/c I do like intensely flavoured gingercakes. :smile:

(Kim...I just watched the PBS video. I think this is just a case where your tastes differ--just b/c Julia likes the recipe a lot doesn't mean that it's the best for you, necessarily! :smile: The inclusion of the cocoa and espresso powder is interesting, and I think I'll experiment and write my own gingerbread recipe after doing the Gramercy Tavern one, and try to combine all the elements about each cake that I enjoy.)

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