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MightyD

best of gingercakes

74 posts in this topic

Ling, I'm with you. The cocoa and espresso powder are what keep me trying that recipe. I am so looking forward to trying your final recipe.

- Kim


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

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I saw that you posted in the best of ginger cakes thread that you liked the Baking with Julia recipe best. Would you mind replying in that thread with the brand of molasses you used and whether you used 2 entire cups of molasses?

I want to like that recipe and maybe you can help me figure out where I went wrong.

Thanks in advance!

- Kim

Kim, I used Grandma's molasses in the BWJ recipe. Yellow label that says "unsulphured" "mild flavor" on it and I did follow the recipe exactly. I was doing plated desserts at the time, and I did my plating with whipped cream with a bit of orange zest in it and curls of candied orange peel.

I didn't, however, taste test against the other recipes in this thread, so I can't say how they compare. But, I do like the dark flavor of molasses.

Beautiful cakes Ling -- I think I'll be trying that second one myself when I have a chance!


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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the recipe then calls for adding the baking soda to the boiling water, then add this mixture to the molasses mixture above.  won't this just kill the leavening??  i've compared this recipe to so many others and i can't find any other recipes that even remotely resemble something like this!

can anyone shed any light on this?

I have used several recipes that called for this procedure. All of them contained spice, such as persimmon bread, banana bread, etc. Perhaps the spice has something to do with it?


eGullet member #80.

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Hi Brian: Glad you like the Fresh Ginger Cake. Thanks for the kudos as well. It's one of my favorite recipes (and prevents me from trying any other Ginger Cakes...)

-David

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I saw that you posted in the best of ginger cakes thread that you liked the Baking with Julia recipe best. Would you mind replying in that thread with the brand of molasses you used and whether you used 2 entire cups of molasses?

I want to like that recipe and maybe you can help me figure out where I went wrong.

Thanks in advance!

- Kim

Kim, I used Grandma's molasses in the BWJ recipe. Yellow label that says "unsulphured" "mild flavor" on it and I did follow the recipe exactly. I was doing plated desserts at the time, and I did my plating with whipped cream with a bit of orange zest in it and curls of candied orange peel.

I didn't, however, taste test against the other recipes in this thread, so I can't say how they compare. But, I do like the dark flavor of molasses.

Beautiful cakes Ling -- I think I'll be trying that second one myself when I have a chance!

SweetSide, thanks for replying!

I had one bottle of molasses in my cupboard for several years. It just wasn't a taste that I liked. And then my husband started using it to make barbecue sauce and I developed a taste for it. And now, I really like it. Enough to have a favorite brand. Grandma's.

I'll be making the Baking with Julia recipe again. As written. Because I'm stubborn.

- 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 the Guinness Stout ginger cake, and it is truly wonderful. A bit of a story:

I mixed the batter about a week ago, figuring I'd freeze it and then bake it next weekend because sister, brother, et al. are coming over and we're having brunch and I'll have a lot of stuff to do. That was when I discovered alcohol doesn't feeze all that easily. :raz: The batter hung out in the freezer a while, semi-frozen, and I baked it Friday night because I knew some people would be dropping in this morning. So, with due diligence to all the warnings on this thread, I let the baked cake hang out covered in the fridge since Friday night, and we had it today, and my goodness it was good. Still had a bit of a ginger bite, but a good one, not too strong. Wonderful spiciness, moist, a little dense. I used one cup of molasses (Grandma's), 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar. This is a really good recipe. Next I try the fresh ginger cake. :smile:

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^That's awesome that the cake keeps well. I was going to bake that cake last night, but I went to two liquor stores and neither sold Guiness by the can or bottle. (I don't drink beer so buying a pack would kind of be a waste.) I gave up and ended up partying all night, only to come home and eat an ENTIRE "Fresh Ginger cake" (the David Lebovitz recipe that I love...I baked another one and froze it!) straight from the freezer. (And yes, the cake was still delicious!!)

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I like gingerbread and have a pan that is a heavy aluminum gingerbread man, about 3/4th's of any recipe I've tried worth. I usually make them at christmas, wrap a red ribbon around the neck (2 reasons, decorative and the neck is weak, so tends to split there when I unmold). I make 2 recipes and it'll make 3 cakes. I also make scones with candied ginger and on the backof the can it has a recipe for TRIPLE gingerbread, using the candied ginger as well as fresh and dried. I have not tried it, just discovered it. I shall try to post pictures of the pan and will post the recipe for the gingerbread (my version will follow as I'm just stupid stubborn about following recipes exactly). I am playing it loose tomorrow as I'm just freakin tired. Have been on my feet doing whatever since Sept.. It's good gingerbread weather, damp.

Btw, I love lemon sauce with gingerbread, and one of my favorite recipes is 'Martha Washington's gingerbread' from I believe Charleston's recipeits. I shall check.

Tomorrow, is definately gingerbread day. I will Post later, or pm if you're game to try triple gingerbread first. I just ain't gonna do it tonight!

edit: lost words...found them.


Edited by highchef (log)

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I made Karen Barnaby's "Fresh Ginger Buttermilk" cake today. She's a local chef and cookbook author. I was so excited when I read this recipe last night b/c it had the elements I was looking for (buttermilk, a not-too-sweet ratio of brown sugar+ molasses to dry ingredients, and crystallized ginger.) I made a few changes to Karen's recipe. I increased the amount of fresh grated fresh ginger to 4 tbsp., and added the following:

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1/2 tsp. black pepper

-1/4 tsp. nutmeg

-1/4 tsp. ground five spice

(I will post the recipe later tonight but I have to go to work now! Sorry!)

gcake.jpg

The resulting cake was quite complex in flavour, and really delicious! Next time, I think I might throw in some extra crystallized ginger, and increase the cinnamon to 2 tsp. The buttermilk in the recipe gives the cake a very moist and tender crumb. The cakes rose evenly in the oven without doming. They would make an awesome gingerbread torte! :wub:

I inhaled most of the entire cake in like 15 minutes... :laugh: I also defrosted a slice of David's 'Fresh Ginger' cake that I really like so I could taste them side-by-side, and I prefer Karen's version just by a little! :smile:

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My last student for today had to re-schedule, so I'm off work two hours early! :biggrin:

Here's Karen's recipe, directions paraphrased as per Egullet guidelines. :smile:

I had forgotten to mention that another thing that drew me to her recipe is that it contains whole wheat pastry flour, which imparts a subtle nuttiness to the cake. It also gives the cake a bit of a chewy texture!

Fresh Ginger and Buttermilk cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup molasses

3 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger

3 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 cup AP flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground dried ginger

1 cup buttermilk or yogurt

***

I also added 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp. five-spice powder. I also increased the amount of fresh ginger to 4 tbsp. I also find the molasses flavour perhaps just a little bit too strong...so next time, I will cut it down to 3/4 cup molasses, and use 1/4 cup corn syrup to make up the difference.

Grease a 10 inch springform pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time, and then add the molasses, and both the fresh and crystallized ginger. In a separate bowl, blend the flours, baking soda, salt, and dried ginger (and additional spices, if using) together, and add to the butter/sugar alternating with the buttermilk.

Bake on the center rack for about 50 minutes.

My version of Karen's recipe can be found HERE :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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I made these ginger muffins last week, and I think they're the best muffins I've ever eaten, ever. I'm wondering how it would be as a loaf cake, probably just as good. The receipe is from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book:

Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins

Source: The Breakfast Book, Marion Cunningham

2 oz Gingerroot, whole/unpeeled

3/4 cup Sugar plus 3 Tbsp sugar

Zest from two lemons

8 Tbsp Butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1 cup Buttermilk

2 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Baking soda

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the muffin tins.

Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces, or hand chop into fine pieces. (You should have 1/4 cup. It is better to have too much ginger, than too little) Put the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in a small skillet or pan and cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Don't walk away from the pan, this cooking takes only a couple minutes. Remove from the stove and let the ginger mixture cool.

Put the lemon zest and 3 Tbsp sugar in the food processor and process until the peel is in small bits; or chop by hand and then add sugar. Add the lemon mixture to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat a second or two, add the Remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Add the ginger-lemon mixture and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins so that each cup is 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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I made these ginger muffins last week, and I think they're the best muffins I've ever eaten, ever. I'm wondering how it would be as a loaf cake, probably just as good. The receipe is from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book:

Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins

Source: The Breakfast Book, Marion Cunningham

2 oz Gingerroot, whole/unpeeled

3/4 cup Sugar plus 3 Tbsp sugar

Zest from two lemons

8 Tbsp Butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1 cup Buttermilk

2 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 tsp Baking soda

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the muffin tins.

Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces, or hand chop into fine pieces. (You should have 1/4 cup. It is better to have too much ginger, than too little) Put the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in a small skillet or pan and cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Don't walk away from the pan, this cooking takes only a couple minutes. Remove from the stove and let the ginger mixture cool.

Put the lemon zest and 3 Tbsp sugar in the food processor and process until the peel is in small bits; or chop by hand and then add sugar. Add the lemon mixture to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat a second or two, add the Remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Add the ginger-lemon mixture and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins so that each cup is 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

I have made these before, I love the heat of the fresh ginger. People kind of freak if they know you didn't peel the ginger first, just let them try them before you share the recipe.

This also appears in WS's series...I think it's the one on quick breads. I shall check.

do try it though, it's really good.

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Cakewalk, I read breathlessly to the end of this thread to see whether anyone was going to mention my (also) favorite muffin ever, and of course, this being eg, someone did! These are a bit of a pain to make first thing in the am, but so divine. She also gives a cake version in the same wonderful book, which I've made: changes are one extra tablespoon zest and only 1/4 tsp salt to make two 8" cakes. I made 1/2 the recipe for a 9" pan. Good but not as great as the muffins -- fault of the pan? She suggests serving with lightly sweetened with chopped candied ginger and mango slices.

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I made the Fresh Ginger Muffins this afternoon, & they're wonderful!

I used 2% yogurt in place of the buttermilk, otherwise I followed the recipe as given. I was lazy, & didn't want to dirty the food processor just to chop the ginger, so I chopped it very finely by hand. By doing that, I found that the 2 ounces called for in the recipe actually measured more like 1/3- 1/2 cup, rather than the 1/4 cup as mentioned. Just the right amount of ginger as far as we were concerned!

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Glad y'all liked those muffins, they're really something, eh? I added the recipe to recipe Gullet.

But I have to admit -- I peeled the ginger! (I'm such a wimp.) But next time, I'll try them unpeeled.

And thanks for the info about turning the muffins into a cake!

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Hello guys, I've been lurking in this thread for a while now, and finally got the courage to join all of you. Those cakes just looks heavenly! Ling's gingercakes look fabulous even in the pan. so I've decided to join y'all and bought my ingredients earlier, and most likely find my way in the kitchen later after my lunchdate(how cheesy huh...a date at daytime....oh well lol). but i will get ready for it now...and i will update you guys arond 3 pm Chicago time. see y'all laters. :biggrin:


...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

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Cakewalk, I tried baking the Fresh Ginger muffins today, with about 1/3 cup of freshly ground ginger. Fresh out of the oven, I didn't find the ginger flavour to be as strong as I expected, but anyway the muffin tasted good. However, a half hour later, my throat is still a little warm from the "ginger glow" that it's left behind :biggrin:

Anyway I would like to put a crunchy topping onto this - what would you suggest... a streusel-type topping with some fresh ground ginger and spices added, or maybe just ground ginger mixed with coarse demerera sugar?

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Cakewalk, I tried baking the Fresh Ginger muffins today, with about 1/3 cup of freshly ground ginger.  Fresh out of the oven, I didn't find the ginger flavour to be as strong as I expected, but anyway the muffin tasted good.  However, a half hour later, my throat is still a little warm from the "ginger glow" that it's left behind  :biggrin:

Anyway I would like to put a crunchy topping onto this - what would you suggest... a streusel-type topping with some fresh ground ginger and spices added, or maybe just ground ginger mixed with coarse demerera sugar?

Mmmmm, a ginger streusel topping, that does sound nice. Making up recipes in not my forte ( :raz: ) but I think I'd try something with a combination of crystalized ginger and powdered ginger. And brown sugar and flour and some butter. And maybe just a bit of finely grated lemon rind. Would some finely chopped walnuts be overkill? :wink: If it had a topping like this, do you think the recipe would need a bit more of a rising agent? (Have I just killed the recipe?)

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Hmm crystallised ginger... good idea. Might try something like that on my next attempt, but I think WITHOUT the walnuts otherwise it's just gonna become something else altogether :rolleyes:

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For those of you who love ginger, and want something different, there is a very old English recipe for "Grasmere Gingerbread" which is a very firm almost shortbready texture. Here is the recipe I have been making for a long time.

8 oz wholemeal flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar

2 teaspoons of ground ginger

6 oz butter

6 oz brown sugar

1 level tablespoon of Golden Syrup.

Mix the flour, soda, cream tartar, ginger, rub in the butter, add the brown sugar and syrup. Press it into an 8 inch tin, bake at about 325 degrees for 45 minutes or so. cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Cut into wedges.

I guess the bicarb and cream of tartar could be replaced with baking powder.

Grasmere is in the Lake District, where Wordsworth wrote about the golden daffodils. He and his sister Dorothy lived there for years, and they were obviously very fond of the local gingerbread, as Dorothy mentions it quite often in her diary. - Mentioned in case you feel poetic about your gingerbread efforts!

Fantastic.

Then there is Yorkshire Parkin - which has oatmeal and treacle with ginger.

Fantastic.


Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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I made the "fresh gingercake" today. Oh my god. It is awesome. :wub: Even my ginger disliking boyfriend likes the cake. I halved the recipe, and subbed 1 tbsp of corn syrup for 1 tbsp of molasses as I didn't want the molasses to overpower the ginger. Baked for 43 minutes in a 7" springform and it smelled so nice! Almost half the cake is gone... :blink:

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Gingerbread is one of my favorites . . . I think the most successful dessert I ever made came after a spectacular standing rib roast and included gingercake, a bittersweet chocolate mousse and date cookies. Accompanied by both plain and cinnamon whipped cream.

My two favorite ginger recipes are for:

Gingerbread Tiles

http://www.estarcion.com/gastronome/archives/001633.html

I made these as a present for a friend who'd given me a springerle rolling pin. I want to try them again this year with a spekulaas mold. The glaze gives a snowy look to the finished product. I think you could probably make men with these, too, but the texture is sort of cookie, sort of cakey. The men would probably blob up.

The cake recipe calls for fresh ginger cooked in melted butter and powdered mustard. I can't remember where I got it, I can post it if you're interested. Some folks don't care for it as it has a bite, I love it. I use Steen's syrup instead of molasses.

I would especially like to know how it stacks up against Julia's recipe.

Has anyone tried the triple ginger cookies at Trader Joe's? I'm thinking the triple ginger (powder, fresh, candied) is probably the way to go.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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