old recipes: ginger cakes

These are from a recent stream I did, a Sleepy Hollow themed meal for Halloween. These ginger cakes are nice on their own, not too sweet with a soft, cakey texture. But… I accidentally discovered you could easily change it up a bit. First though, the recipe.

old recipes: ginger cakes

Recipe by mcnee

ingredients

  • 1 lb all purpose flour

  • 6 oz granulated sugar

  • 30 g (a bit over 1 oz ground ginger)

  • 1/2 fresh nutmeg, ground (or 1 tsp ground nutmeg)

  • 6 oz butter chilled

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 cup cream

  • 2 eggs

directions

  • Stir the baking soda into the cream, stir in the eggs to combine. Set aside.
  • Mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Mix the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, fork or your hands until combined.
  • Mix cream/egg mixture into flour mixture until a firm dough. Add additional flour as needed.
  • Cover and let dough rest about 10-15 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Divide dough into quarters, for each quarter roll out on floured surface until about 1/4″ thick. Cut into desired shapes.
  • Lay cakes on a prepared cookie sheet or tray or line with parchment.
  • Bake about 12-15 minutes for a 3″ cake, until cakes seem dry, but still springy.

So, first off, I realize the instructions may not be very…. clear. A lot of these older recipes are not very clear to begin with. They rely on someone knowing a fair amount on techniques and such. But overall this recipe was pretty good in that it gave some pretty specific measurements. Where it gets less clear is how to really tell if they’re done. I had to guess… If you compare the baked cake against the raw dough, you can see the moisture in the raw. You don’t when it’s cooked, but they’re still a bit springy, not crisp baked.

That said, my second day of making these (the dough can be held in the fridge for at least a day and still turns out great!), I rolled them thinner and cut them smaller to make a large batch to bring to work, and I took about 2-3 minutes off the bake time. If I had gone longer, I think they might have gotten to a more crispy texture, which might be something worth trying.

Now I did deviate from the recipe here a little bit – about a quarter of the flour I used was whole wheat flour, I used turbinado sugar instead of granulated sugar, and I used half-and-half vs cream. I think any milk would be fine in these, and I might even go half and half on the white/wheat flour next time.

The first batch I baked up, they had a very nice, cakey texture. I think my ginger was a bit old, I would have liked a bit more of a ginger bite. These are similar to the ginger bread I’ve made in the past, but didn’t have the molasses you would normally see in that. These are not overly sweet, so I think they would pair well with maybe some nice vanilla ice cream or maybe even some warmed fruit like apples.

Because of that lack of ginger I was expecting, I played around with the second batch a bit more, sprinkling some cardamom on a couple, adding chopped up candied ginger to a bunch. I could definitely see doing the cardamom again, maybe directly in the dough, along with some cinnamon. I also tried a cinnamon-sugar icing, but it turned out too runny… it made for a terrible icing, but dipping a few of these in it was quite tasty.

I’m already thinking of different things I could do with this to make some holiday treats, and will report back if they turn out. Let me know in the comments if you try them out yourself.

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