Fresh ginger cake single

It seems I am not the only one who loves this cake.  This light, moist ginger cake is the most requested recipe of pastry chef and blogger, David Lebovitz.  I first stumbled upon this cake on another of my favourite blogs, Passionate about Baking.  Deeba made this ginger cake just before Christmas, and I instantly knew I had to pop it on my list.

As the temperature starts to drop here in Australia, and winter approaches (albeit, very slowly!), this is the perfect cake to lure along some cooler days.  The cake has a rich, spicy flavour from not only the large injection of fresh ginger, but the addition of rich spices such as cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.

With new season pears now available in stores, the recommendation to serve this cake with this poached pears would be ideal.  But given my goal to find some quick and simple cakes this month, I kept it fuss-free and simply enjoyed with a small (okay, large!), dollop of cream.

I now have baked this cake with almost the same level of frequency that Mark, from No Special Effects, made Tartine’s  Zucchini and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake (previous post).   If you love the flavour of ginger in cakes, you will instantly love this cake.  I know this will not be the last time this cake is baked in the Mélanger household.

Fresh ginger cake set

{ Fresh Ginger Cake } recipe by David Lebovitz

I find unsulfured molasses difficult to source here in Australia (if you come across blackstrap molasses do not use for this recipe!).  For any recipe that calls for a mild molasses, I simply substitute a light treacle (ideal) or golden syrup (backup).  Be sure to check your cake after 30 minutes to check how quickly it is browning.

* Ingredients *
120g or 4 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature

* Directions *
Position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line a 22cm / 9 1/2 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper.   Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife (or use a grater).  Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.  Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture.  Stir in the ginger.   Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter.  Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.  Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan.  Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.