Friday, May 28, 2010

David Lebovitz's Fresh Ginger Cake

It's time for dessert! While browsing through David Lebovitz's "Ready for Dessert" cookbook from last weeks book signing, Fresh Ginger Cake with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream grabbed my attention. My son was coming home from college and I wanted to make a favorite for him. We love the lively and comforting combination of fresh ginger with lemon and this cake has both. Usually I make gingerbread, not ginger cake and only around the winter holiday time. The fresh ginger and zing of lemon makes this cake great any time of the year. You may use store bought lemon curd for the whipped cream, but David gives a recipe for lemon curd in his book that is very easy. I used Meyer lemons which gives the curd a less tart and rounder flavor. In addition, he suggests a fruit compote to serve with it, and this cake is also delicious with just a dusting of powdered sugar. It is the kind of cake that it is hard to walk by without cutting off "just another sliver"! Thank you, David :-))

David Lebovitz's Fresh Ginger Cake

4-ounce (115-g) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup (250ml) mild-flavored molasses
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (250ml) water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform or round cake pan with 2-inch (5-cm) sides and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or with a chef's knife, chop the ginger until very fine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil. In a medium bowl. whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water into the molasses mixture, then add the chopped ginger.

Gradually sift the flour mixture over the molasses mixture, whisking to combine. Add the eggs and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared springform or cake pan and bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool completely.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, then re-invert it onto a serving platter.

Serving: Serve wedges of this cake with whipped cream, ice cream, or a fruit compote.
Storage: Because this cake is so moist, it keeps well for up to 5 days at room temperature. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Lemon Curd Whipped Cream
(Adapted from, "Ready for Dessert", by David Lebovitz)

Lemon Curd

1/2 cup (125ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice*
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 g) unsalted or salted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
*Meyer lemons juice may be used.

In a small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, combine the 1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice, 1/2 cup (100g) sugar, and the butter. Set a mesh strainer over a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, briefly whisk together the eggs and the yolks. When the butter has melted, whisk some of the warm liquid from the saucepan into the eggs, whisking constantly as you pour, then stir the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until the curd starts to thicken and looks slightly jelled. Don't let the mixture boil.

Pour the lemon curd through the strainer set over the bowl. Cover, let cool, then refrigerate until chilled.

Whipped Cream

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or in a bowl by hand), whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.

To finish, fold the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd.

Fresh Ginger Cake recipe.

Lemon Curd Whipped Cream recipe.

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