07 February 2011

Lightly-Spiced Stem Ginger Cake

My favourite thing to do whilst baking cakes is to dance.  I just can't help myself.  I crank up the tunes, pretend the whisk is my microphone, and then hop up on the chair (to get things from high shelves, ostensibly) for a mean air guitar solo.  It's embarrassing, but I'm pretending to be a rock star, so I don't give a shit.  The cakes take a good bit longer to get made, but it's bloody great fun.  And I'd much rather bake cakes (or do anything, really) with rock music than without it, any day of the week.

So, this post is going to come with a playlist.  Maybe every cake recipe, ever, should come with a playlist?  This could get interesting.  See, I started out with a boring, bland, weird (if I do say so) recipe which the music kind of... well, inspired me to make better.

Don't you think the world would be a better place if we all took a few minutes to dance around like idiots in our kitchens?

This is a hearty cake, made so by the addition of porridge oats, and would be perfect for tea.  It's not too heavily-spiced or overtly sweet, and so should be paired with a sugary glaze.  My initial thought was to use a tart cream cheese icing, but it didn't balance well since the cake itself wasn't very sweet.  It's all about balance.  And, you know, rocking.

Lightly-Spiced Stem Ginger Cake

1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup good-quality greek yogurt (such as Fage, full fat)
1/3 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/3 cup demerara (or light brown sugar)
1 piece preserved stem ginger, minced
1 tsp stem ginger syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp black treacle (or molasses)
2 tblsp water

1 cup porridge oats (or 'quick-cooking oats')
1 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb (baking soda)

Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Line a small loaf pan with a bit of baking paper.

Mix together wet ingredients in a large bowl and beat for a few minutes, breaking up any possible lumps in the sugar.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine with wet ingredients.  Stir until just incorporated, pour into loaf pan and bake.  Pretty easy stuff.

Bake for 30-35 min, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before glazing.

For glaze, mix up a little cream cheese with a little stem ginger syrup, and add lots of icing sugar, and decoratively spoon or pipe onto top of cake before slicing.

This cake was created with the the assistance of the following tunes:

1. OK Go - Needing/Getting
2. Florence and the Machine - Kiss With a Fist
3. The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So
4. Band of Skulls - I Know What I Am
5. Queen - Somebody To Love
6. The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
7. Glasvegas - Geraldine
8. Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger
9. Live - I Alone
10. The Vines - Ride

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