Finders Keepers: Golden Ginger (and Molasses) cake
With ginger as tender and juicy as what Prickle Hill Farms supplied our household last week, I had a to find a worthy recipe to showcase such freshness. Without any doubt this recipe by Alison Roman, New York Times columnist, cookbook author and media personality is the one. This is a recipe to treasure. It worked perfectly - no adjustments needed except that I'm a ginger fiend, and added an extra teaspoon of it. The addition of turmeric was also a surprise, but it gave the cake a depth of flavour, and of course the golden hue. This is a perfect tea cake.
Alison talks about the cake texture as being like a donut on the outside, but with a fine cake crumb within. I was intrigued, but it turned out to describe the texture perfectly!
Note: Sadly, the latest revelations about Ms. Roman's unpleasant behaviour have cast a shadow over this excellent recipe. I'm really not sure what to do about baking this cake again. Do you?
Nonstick cooking spray
2 ¾ cups/350 grams all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup/220 grams light brown sugar
¼ cup/60 ml molasses
3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 large eggs
½ cup/120 ml buttermilk
¼ cup/60 ml vegetable or coconut oil, melted
Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan, cake pan or tart pan with nonstick cooking spray (or grease with softened butter) and sprinkle with a bit of Demerara sugar to coat the interior of the pan; tap out excess and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, turmeric, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer and a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and molasses until the mixture is light, fluffy and the color of a very pale latte, 3 to 4 minutes. (Feel free to periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are mixing properly.) Add fresh ginger and beat to blend.
Add eggs, one at a time, until they are totally incorporated and the mixture looks extremely light and fluffy, almost like cake frosting, 5 or so minutes. (Be sure to wipe off any ginger that may have stuck to the beaters.)
Combine buttermilk and oil in a bowl or a measuring cup. With the mixer on low, beat 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the cake batter, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat with 1/3 of the dry ingredients and the remaining buttermilk mixture. Finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients.
Pour cake batter into prepared pan and scatter with more Demerara sugar. Bake, rotating once or twice if your oven has hot spots or tends to be uneven, until the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the pan, it’s evenly golden brown on top and it springs back ever so slightly when pressed, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack if you have one. (If not, just let it cool away from the oven.) Do not remove cake from the pan until it is 100 percent cool. Serve with lightly whipped cream or the ice cream of your choice.