My sister-in-law stayed over at the weekend due to the fact that she was moving house. Her husband was at home dismantling their boiler (he’s a plumber and their boiler is something of a mammoth contraption). She wanted to get away from the mess and stress so hibernated at mine for the weekend. She lives (or lived should I say) in Wanstead, East London which is about 20-minute drive from where I live. She is moving to Faversham which is in Kent (South East England) and will now be over an hour away. I think they want to re-enact “The Good Life” … their new cottage sits on 2 acres of land so I’m thinking more like Old MacDonald’s Farm kind of scenario.
So anyway, she came home (to mine) one evening and brought home this little cake from Violet. You know … that famous little cake shop that made that epic wedding cake for Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding. Ahh .. yes you know that one! Funnily enough, I used to live across the road from Violet but never actually paid it a visit.
Well, this little cake that my sister-in-law gifted me was intriguing. I opened the little box, and just sitting there was this little black sponge cake with some royal icing drizzle. I wasn’t ‘wowed‘ as it looked so timid and humble but never the less I got a fork and dived right in.
At first, I was waiting for a familiar taste to rumble my tastebuds. You know, like a treacle sponge or a sticky toffee like flavour, but … it was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted. It was rich and moist, super soft and pillowy at the same time. It wasn’t too sweet … it had a slightly bitter note to it with a warming ginger heat that lingered until way after the last bite. It was amazing!
This ginger molasses cake, I can’t express how good it was. I knew after the first bite that I had to recreate this beauty. I grabbed a copy of my “The Violet Bakery Cookbook” which has been on my bookshelf for a while and hoped that the recipe for this cake was inside. Lo and behold it was there! I was so excited to get stuck in and try this recipe.
The first time I made it, I found it was too gingery. The taste and texture were there but the ginger was overpowering. I actually liked the strong ginger taste, but my taste testers (my husband and a couple of friends) told me it was slightly overpowering. So in my next attempt, I reduced the amount of fresh ginger used. I think I have the balance just right now.
Here is my slightly adapted version of Violet’s ginger molasses recipe.
Firstly I greased and lined a 6″ cake tin. I used a deep one because the cake was going to rise a fair bit.
For the ingredients I used: 65g fresh ginger, 150g plain flour, half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a pinch of ground cloves, 80g caster sugar, 100g of sunflower oil, 130g of black treacle (molasses), 100ml boiling water, 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and 1 large egg.
Firstly, I peeled my ginger and chopped it into 1 inch pieces. I put it in my little micro food processor and blitzed it until it was a coarse mixture. I set it aside for later.
Next, I sifted the dry ingredients (apart form the bicarbonate of soda) into a large bowl. It’s always recommended to sift your dry ingredients before baking because we want to incorporate a lot of air into the mixture.
I attached the mixing bowl onto my KitchenAid stand mixer and turned it on to a low speed. This allows all the dry ingredients to be mixed thoroughly and prevent lumps from forming.
I then mixed the oil and molasses together and gave it a good mix. You will find that it won’t mix together completely … but most things don’t mix well with oil anyway.
I poured the bicarbonate of soda into the hot water and gave it a stir before pouring it into the molasses and oil mixture. I gave this a good vigourous stir until bubbles started forming on the surface. I added the chopped fresh ginger and mixed well.
I lightly beat the egg and added this to the mixture … I scraped the bowl to ensure all the ingredients were well combined.
The scent of the fresh ginger can be smelt before it’s even been baked. The batter will be very thin – don’t worry, it’s meant to be like that. In my experience, thin cake batters usually make the moistest cakes.
The cake batter is then poured in to my greased and lined 6″ cake tin. Before putting the cake tin in the oven, I banged it on the table to get rid of any big air bubbles that may be lurking in the batter.
I baked the cake in the oven on a really low heat – gas mark 2 for 1 hour. This low heat and slow bake ensures the moist stays in the cake and the cake will avoid unnecessary burning.
Ahh the smell is just amazing. My kitchen smells wonderful!
Once baked, I allowed the cake to cool in its tin for about 15 minutes before turning it out completely to cool.
The cake needs a little lemon glaze, so I whipped up 150g icing sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. I generously drizzed the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some of it to drip down the size. The lemon drizzle works really well with the heat of the ginger and sweetness of the molasses. I finished the cake with some chopped crystalised ginger pieces.
This cake is so moreish and is currently my favourite cake to make and eat. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog.
See you next week …
~ The Cake Lady xxx