As you may recall, Bundt Cake Season 4 started on October 31st. The Main Squeeze and I were among hundreds of thousands of people in New England who lost power in the evening of Saturday, October 29th in a freak snow storm that brought down lots of branches and whole trees (since the snow hit so early, most of the trees still had their leaves. That, combined with the heaviness of the snow, led to the downing of trees and the breaking off of tree limbs. In fact, our back porch was damaged from a large branch hitting it). We were lucky, because our power returned by Monday morning. Once the power returned, among the many things that I wanted to do to take advantage of once again having electricity was to bake a bundt cake and get Bundt Cake Season 4 started!
Months ago, I had found a recipe on the web that I wanted to use to start BCS4, but unfortunately, I didn't have at least two key ingredients, and I wasn't about to venture to the store when it was sure to be insanely packed. So, I found another recipe whose ingredients I did have: Lemon Ginger Cake from Kiss My Bundt.
I had forgotten that I used up my baking spray, but I figured, no big deal, when I first started baking bundts, I used the old butter and flour method, I'd just do that. I don't know what happened (I'm guessing I didn't grease the pan thoroughly enough), but I had my first experience of the cake not releasing from the pan. I kept letting it sit for 15 minutes and trying to turn it out, but no go. I even tried to ease it out using a silicon spatula. I finally had to take desperate measures. I think I ultimately had to use a knife to get it out.
It wasn't pretty. In fact, I think it's safe to say it was an aesthetic disaster. See for yourself:
Well, at least it tasted delicious.
Sadly, I had made a lemon ginger syrup to pour over it, to give it a stronger ginger flavor, but clearly, a syrup would have just have made it soggy.
Did I mention that we had invited friends who were still without power over for dinner? And after all the work that went into this cake, I wasn't about to just toss it. The Main Squeeze had an excellent suggestion: serve it in bowls. Which is what I did. With the syrup on the side for folks to put on their cake as they liked.
It really was quite tasty. Since it was a fresh ginger cake, without the ingredients that would have made it more spicy (like molasses ), the ginger flavor was on the subtle side. And this was after I added more ginger than the recipe called for. I also was probably a little too generous with the lemon zest, as I think the lemon flavor dominated the ginger flavor a bit.
If you're looking for a cake with more of hint of ginger than an intense gingerbread experience, then this is the cake for you. Omit the lemon zest if you'd like just a simple, fresh ginger cake.
Ginger peeling hint: The best way to peel ginger is to use a spoon. Seriously. That way you remove just the thin skin without losing any of the delicious root.
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (I don't have a ginger grater, and my experience using a regular grater has been unsatisfactory, so I just chop it very finely.)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole milk (as always, I used the 1% I had on hand)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Add grated ginger, lemon zest, and vanilla to milk. Set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about two minutes.
Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy, about two minutes.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time. Then beat on medium speed for an additional two minutes.
Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet mixture at low speed, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.
Transfer batter to a cake pan that has been coated with a baker's cooking spray that includes flour. (If you are using mini bundt pans, fill them 3/4 full.)
Bake until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean--about 40 minutes for a regular-sized bundt pan.
Invert cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (HA!) If it still resists, give it another 15 minutes (double HA!).
I don't remember now what I did for the syrup, but I think I went with something like this:
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1-2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest
If you happen to have some Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, add some, that would be delicious--a couple of tablespoons, I'm guessing, would do nicely.
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
If everything had turned out correctly, I would have poked holes in the cake with a skewer and poured the syrup over it.