Untamed Ginger

Hello again everyone and welcome back to my kitchen.

Before we begin, though, I have to warn you, the following recipe is intended to feed a minimum of four serious spice freaks. In fact, the FDA strongly recommend that an average man of seventy to seventy-five kilos not eat more than a quarter of the cake I am about to bake.

It’s just that gingery.

Side-effects of overconsumption of ginger may include indigestion, heartburn, diarrhoea, excess bile and a build up of acid in the stomach. I, myself, have experienced none of these but that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t. I will not be held responsible if you exceed the above-mentioned maximum dosage.

That said, however, when eaten in a more reasonable quantity, ginger is known to aid digestion, help the immune system, improve blood flow, act as a surprisingly good source of iron and, above all, be delicious. This cake is well worth baking, despite the health warnings it comes with.

So let’s get stuck in!

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You will need:

110g Butter (salted or otherwise)

60g Light Brown Sugar (or castor)

60g Dark Muscavado Sugar

5 tablespoons Honey

260g Self Raising Flour

10g Ginger Root

4 tablespoons Ground Ginger

2 Eggs

and the special ingredient:

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1 can of Ginger Beer.

This can be basically any brand, since it does more for the finished texture than the heat or flavour, but I still like to use the Old Jamaica Extra Fiery featured in . It is, after all, one of my two favourite ginger beers and the only brand that I constantly have in my cupboard.

As long as you don’t use one you actively dislike, you’ll be fine.

Start by skinning the root ginger and chopping it as finely as you can. Ideally the pieces should be as small as or smaller than this:

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Next, mix them in a bowl with your flour and ground ginger before setting aside the results for later.

Get a saucepan and melt your butter, honey and sugars, stirring until all the lumps are gone. The Muscavado may take some work to break down but it gives the rich molasses taste that nearly every ginger cake has, while the lighter sugar keeps it from growing out of control.

Once that’s done, remove the pan from the heat and beat in your eggs. The mixture will froth a little but don’t expect to see much more, there’s too much liquid to aerate the eggs properly.

Which is where the ginger beer comes in. As long as you add it gently, running it down the side if you can, the fizz adds all the bubbles you need, giving you a surprisingly light and fluffy yet still moist and sticky ginger cake. The perfect texture.

Not that we’re quite done yet. Your liquid mixture and your dry mixture need to be combined so fold them together gently, keeping as many of the bubbles as you can.

Finally, transfer the results to a greased and lined cake tin and bake 180 degrees centigrade for 40 minutes. Once that’s done and the cake is cooled, it’s ready to eat.

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Or ice.

Personally, I chose to top mine with a mix of non-alcoholic ginger wine, icing sugar and finely chopped crystallized ginger. It’s simple and sweet but it adds just a tad more ginger bite to this already very ginger flavoured cake. Sometimes I like to go to extremes.

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How you do it, however, is entirely up to you.

Here comes the important question though. With such an overwhelming ginger content, how strong is this cake going to be? Can normal people eat it? Will they enjoy it? There are a few answers to that.

Yes, they can certainly eat it. Despite all that fiery ginger, this desert comes in surprisingly mild and never builds above a

1.5/10

Heat

but it does linger on the roof of the mouth for a good long while. Much longer than most ginger things.

Will they enjoy it though? Do they like ginger? The texture is undeniably wonderful but the flavour isn’t quite for everyone. Sad as it is, there are people in this world who don’t enjoy ginger. I would be very surprised if any ginger loving people didn’t appreciate this cake though.

And how strong is it? Well, the heat isn’t as I high as I expected it to be but the flavour is undeniably intense. Anyone who likes ginger can enjoy it but not everyone can enjoy it in large quantities. Don’t be offended if, when you bake this, normal people only have a few bites.

It’s gorgeous, golden and rooty with a good hint of richness but not the full on overly dark flavour of a cake that’s heavy on the treacle or molasses. You will get compliments on it, even if people don’t eat a lot.

All the more for us freaks, right?

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