Citrus and spices

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I promise this is not a baking blog. But when the cold weather comes, I love having the oven on more than usual. This recipe will definitely fill your home and palate with its warm, heavenly scent. I always like to find the silver lining (also known as the health benefits) while enjoying sweets and I think the quarter pound of fresh ginger in this cake is the trick. I was nervous about using so much of something so strong, but the end product was well balanced: a warm zipper, not spicy.

Gingerbread Cake with English Lemon Cream

The recipe was adapted from Ready for dessert by David Lebovitz, whose recipes I absolutely adore. He suggests serving this cake with plum compote or lemon curd. I chose to combine it with an English lemon cream, as I love the combination of citrus and spices. The cake is also wonderful on its own. I recommend using a microplate or a heavy duty food processor to chop the ginger as it will help prevent fibrous ginger strings from entering the cake (I found out the hard way!).

Ginger cake

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soft molasses
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 large eggs

Addresses:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease sides and bottom of 9-inch spring pan, then line bottom with parchment (you can substitute a cake pan if it's 2-inch high).

In a very large bowl, mix molasses, sugar, and oil. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. While the water is heating, mix the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper in a separate bowl. When the water boils, remove it from the heat and add baking soda. Add the water mixture to the wet ingredients, then add the minced ginger. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet one, beat the eggs and beat until well combined.

Pour the dough into the prepared pan and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake comes out backwards when lightly pressed. Leave in the pan to cool completely. After the cake has cooled, run a knife around the pan to loosen it, invert the cake, and remove the parchment. Serve with sauce underneath.

Lemon Crème Anglaise

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 6 large egg yokes

Addresses:

Prepare an ice bath by filling a large container with ice, place a medium container on top and a mesh filter on top of the medium container.

In a medium saucepan combine milk, sugar, salt and zest. Heat the mixture over low heat, dissolving the sugar and soaking the zest. Meanwhile, beat the yokes in a small bowl. Temper the yokes by slowly adding 1/2 cup of warm milk. Then add the yokes to the rest of the milk in the saucepan, whisking all the time. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (or heat resistant spatula), until the sauce thickens enough to cover the back of the spoon. Do not boil

Strain the sauce through the mesh strainer into the bowl in the ice bath. Stir the sauce to cool it down. After the sauce has cooled, cover and refrigerate.

Citrus spices

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