Ginger – SF

Posted on May 24, 2011


You may be surprised; I don’t own a lot of cookbooks.  A little odd, since I own a lot of books in general.

We have three shelves of travel books, one just dedicated to Northern California. I have chick lit crammed with literature, piled high on my shelves.  Old textbooks, back issues of National Geographic Adventure and thrift store paperbacks.

I’m a sucker for a bargain book.

So when I find a whole mess of cookbooks for super cheap, I’m like a kid in a candy store.  The glossy photos, the endless recipes and ideas for dinner parties.  I’ve been building up my collection—mostly dessert and vegetarian related.  I’m all over the map.

I picked up David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert for a song.  I’m in love with every page, but I couldn’t stop turning back to his well-known fresh ginger cake.  Because you use fresh grated ginger, it was super-moist and flavorful throughout the whole week.

I made this for Nate’s family while they were in town, and it was a big hit.  🙂  The cake was dark and indulgent without being overly heavy.

It’s great served on its own, or with some lemon curd or pumpkin butter.  Or a tangy goat cheese.  Or just a splash of milk or cream.  The possibilities to dress up this cake are endless.  Next time, I may try it as a layer cake with lemon whipped cream icing.

Fresh Gingerbread

Adapted from Room for Dessert.  Makes one 9 ½ inch round cake. 

  • About ½ heaping cup of fresh grated ginger (I used the food processor)
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Butter and flour your 9 ½ inch spring-form pan.

3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the molasses, sugar and oil.

5. Boil the water in a saucepan and add the baking soda.  Add the water mixture to the molasses and combine.  Add the chopped ginger to the molasses mixture.

6. Add the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture gradually, whisking to combine. Add the eggs and mix until well combined.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick in the center comes clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing.