Monday, April 27, 2009

Ginger Pound Cake (Page 704)

RECIPE #980

  • Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Chuck, and Paul K
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I have flipped past this recipe dozens of times and each time thought, "Nah." I had envisioned this cake as being sort of dry, flavored with that powdered ginger taste, and just not all that appealing. But the Cakes section of The Book is running low, so my choices are more limited. I am trying to finish up the section in the near future, so I decided I would finally make this cake. I first sifted together flour (which I had already sifted once), baking powder, ground ginger, salt, and mace. Then I sifted everything again (this made for a lot of sifting!). I beat together butter and orange zest, then added sugar in additions. Then I added a half dozen eggs, one at a time, then fresh ginger which I had peeled and grated. I added the flour mixture alternately with milk, in several additions. Then I spread the batter in a buttered and floured pan. I baked it for almost 2 hours. This cake was a very pleasant surprise. I had low expectations, but I will happily admit I was wrong. It was nothing like I envisioned it. For one thing, the texture was awesome! It was moist and not-too-dense. The flavor was also great. Using fresh grated ginger is atypical in baking, but it was great in this recipe. It gave the cake a lovely ginger flavor and it was perfectly balanced with the other ingredients so as not to be overpowering. The other flavor that came through quite clearly was that of butter! Mmmm... butter. The cake was definitely rich (with a pound of butter in it) but it paid off big time in the flavor. My only tiny complaint is that the cake was maybe a touch too sweet for me. I might have been happier with just a tiny bit less sugar. That said, both my special gentleman and I enjoyed this cake a lot. Easily the best ginger cake I have had.

This recipe isn't online.

Ah, wedding planning. Our wedding is less than 5 weeks away now, which means that decisions need to be made. So, I did a little burst of wedding planning late last week. Stop number one: the restaurant where we are having our reception. That could not have been a better experience. The purpose of the trip was to select wines to go with our wedding dinner. My special gentleman and I sat at the bar and tasted wine after wine after wine. Then, when we concluded we had had too much to drink to really be useful decision makers, we ordered some food. The wine was great, the food was AWESOME, and we actually made some decisions! Overall, a success.

Stop number two took us to Indianapolis. It was an exciting day: I picked up my wedding dress and my special gentleman ordered a suit. He hadn't purchased a suit in the last decade, so it was about time he got a new one! Now I have my dress in the closet and the suit is on its way, so we should be all set (ok not quite -- we don't have shoes, a shirt for under his suit, etc...). But we're making progress.

Stop number three was to meet with the catering person for our rehearsal dinner. Now, we are having a super small wedding, the ceremony for which will require no rehearsing. So it's really just a dinner, rather than a rehearsal dinner. And since we are serving a fancy five course meal at the wedding reception, I wanted something totally low key for the rehearsal. In particular, I wanted cookout food: hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, corn on the cob, etc... So I felt totally prepared to meet with the caterer and tell her what I wanted. But then she started asking me all these questions about what color linens I wanted, what color napkins, which hors d'oeuvres, how many chairs per table, what kind of florals we are decorating with... AH! Oh my gosh. It was completely overwhelming. My mental vision of this event had been everyone sitting around, drinking beer, eating hamburgers, and then going bowling. There were no flowers in my vision. Or hors d'oeuvres. Just food off a grill, alcohol, and bowling balls. Simple, simple, simple. Depsite the pressure, I tried to remain true to my vision -- I ordered my cookout food, some white linens, a popcorn machine, and an open bar! I figure we can't go wrong with that!

3 comments:

Deniz said...

You certainly cannot go wrong with a popcorn machine! Yum!

Teena said...

That's what I thought! I love popcorn! Matt says he is going to operate the machine -- should be entertaining!

Anonymous said...

As a very experienced baker, I had a feeling I was going to hate the final texture of this cake. While the taste is lovely, the crumb and velvet texture I expect from a true poundcake is missing--and I am known for my pound cakes. With some adjustments, including a change in flour, this could move from a B- in my opinion to an A+. Sometimes, you should trust your gut. To be frank, most of the recipes in that cookbook are pretty average and need a lot of work, spice adjustments and varying the cooking times. Good luck on the project!