I have been spending my free time clearing up files of unwanted notes and avoiding the still persistent rain here in London. As a reward for accomplishing more or less the daily To Do lists, I make yet another bundt cake. This time it is Nigella Lawson’s Fresh Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing (page 236 of How to be a Domestic Goddess). I have said it before and will say it again: baking a cake in a bundt pan makes it so much more attractive and presentable.
The original recipe will fill a 10 cup bundt pan but I wanted to make a smaller one. Much as I hate to mention this in a blog which deals a lot with baking, my doctor said I have to watch my sugar intake as my recent blood tests show that I am in the pre diabetic range. Worry about overworking my pancreas needs to balanced with a healthy eating life. I have been to hospital so many times with friends (and my father) who were dying and who wanted to eat but couldn’t. So I always tell everyone around me: eat when you can and enjoy every bite and every chew.
Each time I use my 5 cup lotus bundt pan I think of Singapore, where I bought it. Shamefully I also remember I need to write up some notes about the Botanic Gardens and share a few photos of the city at nighttime. Hopefully sometime this week or next.
The gingerbread ready to be turned out of the lotus bundt pan
To update the recipe, I added some crystallised stem ginger, doubled the grated fresh ginger and cut the sugar elements in the cake by 60%. It was still quite sweet because of the stem ginger and the lemon icing. Instead of crystallised stem ginger it is also fine to use stem ginger that has been preserved in syrup. Either way just cut each knob of ginger into smaller pieces before adding to the cake and icing.
For a 5 cup Bundt (double the recipe for a 10 cup bundt):
8 g each of softened butter and plain flour, to line the bundt pan
75 g unsalted butter
25 g dark muscovado sugar
40 g golden syrup (I used Lyle’s brand)
40 g black treacle (I used Lyle’s brand)
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
125 g milk (semi skimmed is fine)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of warm water
150 g plain flour
85 g crystallised stem ginger (70 g for the cake and 15 g for the topping)
90 g icing sugar and 1½ tablespoons lemon juice for the lemon icing
You will also need a 5 cup bundt pan. The recipe can be doubled to fit a larger 10 cup pan. Nordic Ware is the only one manufacturer you should go to for these marvellous baking pans.
How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan.
Brush the softened butter evenly over the entire inside of the pan, taking care to fill every corner. Sift over the flour, moving the pan around to coat evenly. Remove the excess flour by turning the pan upside down and giving it a tap (do this over a sink).
Start by sifting the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add 75 g of the cut up stem ginger. Set aside and prepare the wet ingredients.
Measure the milk and beat the egg into this. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in water. Set both of these aside.
Place the butter, sugar, golden syrup, treacle, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat. Do not boil the mixture.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour into the bowl with the flour. Add the milk and egg mixture, followed by the bicarbonate of soda in its water.
Mix everything together until you get a homogenous batter. Work fast as the bicarbonate of soda will react with the other ingredients, releasing bubbles which trap precious air into the batter.
Pour the cake mixture into prepared bundt pan. Level the surface and bake in the oven for 40 minutes (up to 55 minutes for the bigger pan) or until the cake bounces back when touched. A metal skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice then whisk until smooth.
Pour the icing over the cake and sprinkle over the remaining 15 g of stem ginger. The icing will stick better if the cake has cooled down a little.
Mr Gochugaru and I loved the cake but I had a customer complaint from Junior 2. She had requested this cake as she remembered it from earlier schooldays, and so could not understand the shape, lighter colour and additional stem ginger. I had to explain that I changed the baking tin, removed 60% of the black treacle and added whole preserved ginger. She didn’t quite agree with everything but in this round of Baker vs Cake, it is the Doctor who wins hands down.
How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson, published by Chatto & Windus, ISBN: 978-0701189143. You can safely cut down on the sugar in all the recipes, and still have a delicious cake at the end of the baking sessions.