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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Golden Ginger Cake!!

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie."  ~Jim Davis

   The festivities are upon us and the winter holiday season is here. I'll be posting recipes throughout the next week or so since we are not able to cruise yet. Mainly we are working on bulking Les up with yummy high calorie foods so he will heal well and tolerate another two surgeries just over the horizon. This is obviously not food on the Gerson anti-cancer therapy program. We will return to that in the months to come when we can resume cruising again. For now we are being naughty...and it sure is nice!!
   I am not a fan of fruitcake. It is too dark, too sweet, and I don't like the glazed cherries or candied citron. In the States we joke about fruitcake being the gift one can keep on giving year after year, re-wrapping it and passing it on to someone else; hard as a brick and never spoiling due to the high sugar and alcohol content. Some years ago I found Golden Ginger Cake and fell to my knees in gratitude. This recipe originates with Williams Sonoma Cookware. Chuck Williams--one of the founders--always included some very tasty recipes in their fabulous catalogs full of high end cook ware, table ware, and fine, imported comestibles. This recipe appeared decades ago and was so popular W-S decided to make it and sell it in their catalog, so the recipe is not widely available anymore! Without further ado, my favorite winter holiday cake!



Williams Sonoma Golden Ginger Cake
Throughout this recipe the British standard measurements and verbiage are in parentheses after the American equivalents
Ingredients:
1 cup crystallized ginger, diced (150 grams)
1 cup pitted dates, diced (150 grams)
1 cup pecans, cut into small pieces  (150 grams)
1/2 cup of pistachio nuts, shelled and halved (75 grams)
1/2 cup of golden raisins or sultanas (75 grams)
1 and a 1/2 cups of sifted all purpose flour (180 grams)
1 teaspoon of backing powder
8 Tablespoons (1 U.S. stick) of room temperature butter
1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar (90 grams)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
3 Tablespoons of milk (I use evaporated milk for creaminess)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4-1/3 cup of Grand Marnier orange liquor (60-80 ml)
Directions:
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F (Gas mark 3).
Grease and flour a 7 inch springform pan. (I use a 9 inch springform)
In a bowl stir together crystallized ginger, dates, pecans, pistachios, and raisins until well blended. Set aside. 
Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside. 
In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. 
Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until mixture is fluffy; add in the orange zest. 
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla, ending with flour until smooth and no lumps of flour remain. 
Fold in the ginger, nuts, dates, and raisins. Do not over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about an hour and twenty minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about twenty minutes. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper and invert the cake onto the rack. 
While the cake is still warm, use a skewer or a very thin bladed knife to to make holes all over the top of the cake. Drizzle the top with Grand Marnier. Let sit for about ten minutes then gently flip the cake over and drizzle the bottom with Grand Marnier.
Wrap in bakers paper or Saran Wrap (Cling film) and then with Aluminum foil (Aluminium Foil). Let sit for two days then unwrap and dose again with a drizzle of Grand Marnier top and bottom. Re-wrap and let sit for at least a day before serving. 
One cake serves 8-10.

For Decorating:
   I made a simple syrup of equal parts water and sugar, brought it to a boil and reduced it for 10 minutes. I added an 1/8th teaspoon of ground ginger and a drop of Grand Marnier. I sliced an orange very thin and placed the slices in the sugar syrup to gently cook for 60 minutes. I left it to cool and then placed the orange slices on bakers paper to drain. I sprinkled them with coarse caster sugar. I also soaked some whole pecans in the syrup so they would be shiny and let them drain on bakers paper too. Then I made a simple Icing with 1 cup of powdered sugar (icing sugar), 2 Tablespoons of very soft butter, 2 tsp. of evaporated milk, and 6 Tablespoons of leftover simple syrup from candying the oranges.  
   William Sonoma recommend one embed large chunks of crystallized ginger and whole pecans and pistachios over the top of cake before baking but Les doesn't like the big chunks of ginger so I do my own decorating thing.)

5 comments:

Bryce Lee said...

This recipe is dangerous. It disobeys allthings Gerson, and that alone makes it good. Jaq should be ashamed serving this especially glad the NB Valerie is well and truly tied to the bank of the canal. Nobody whould be allowed to even walk from boat to shore after consuming this cake. Grand Mariner indeed. Remind me again why narrow boat people seem to have the most fattening scrumptous foot.

I am starting my own recipe book,
of all things edible, sinful and what ever else.

Now 16:30 Dec.17 in Burlington Ontario with two feet of snow on the ground and very cold wind. My fresh carrot juice is sitting here being drunk slowly as per Gerson...you gotta have something to quell the taste of fattening foods, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaq and Les, Marilyn here, over from Wellington, NZ for Christmas and New Year with the grandchildren. Arrived yesterday and going to see our narrowboat today for the first time in the flesh, so to speak. Very excited! It's moored on the Trent near Barton in Fabis.
Then when we get up to Scotland and are with the grandchildren later this week, I am going to make your cake - looks and sounds very yummy, and with all that fruit is has to be healthy, don't you think?
Have a safe, happy and peaceful festive season, Marilyn McD

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Bryce,
You must be feeling a wee bit better now. I promise more recipes--as you and a fair few of our other readers have asked for. Meanwhile stay warm in blustery Ontario.
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Oh Marilyn you must be so excited!! I do hope you will choose to blog about your life afloat so we can follow you! Enjoy the Golden Ginger cake and please give our best holiday wishes to your family in Scotland.
JaqXX

Anonymous said...

Hey - a picture and a recipe of that deeelicious golden ginger cake!! I really must keep up to date reading nbV and can only say that cake tastes as good as it looks and is seriously yummy. A big thank you - how lucky I am xxA ps wellies on and spade in hand......!

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs