fresh ginger-lemon cake

Ginger-lemon cake
January seems to be the month people flip their internal switches from out-of-control, wild bingers of rich food and drink to wholesome souls sucking down juice meals, promising to spend each and every day at the gym sweating out their toxins.

Or so that’s what some major retailers want us to think, according to the huge display I saw at Whole Foods on January 2. It was a tower more than 15 feet high, precariously constructed out of crates of lemons, bottles of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and jugs of maple syrup; all the ingredients necessary for the Master of Cleanses.

lemon ginger sugar fresh ginger

Post-holiday detox probably isn’t a bad idea, considering the amount of wine corks that pile up around me, but I’ve never submitted to a juice fast, for 2 reasons:

1. I’m afraid I might perish from hunger and then get very, very cranky; which is what tends to happen when I don’t eat in regular 3 hour intervals.

2. I associate the word “cleanse” with “not clean”.  As in dirty. You can take it from there.

My approach is a little gentler and keeps the tremors at bay. I just stick to eating all the real, fresh food I usually do and drink lots of water. The sugars and alcohol get pushed back into careful moderation.

I believe moderation includes a slice of cake, and my very favorite kind of cake is plain and simple, one that I can toast for a snack with some really good apricot or raspberry jam.

This is the most basic of pound cakes,  hit with enough ginger and lemon to freshen your inner being. Way better than drinking juice, I think.

fresh ginger lemon cake

Fresh ginger-lemon cake

Serving Size: 10 - 12 servings

Ingredients

  1. 1 tablespoon plus 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  2. 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
  4. 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  5. 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  6. ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  7. 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325; butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 –inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Put ¼ cup sugar in a pie dish or shallow bowl; add the lemon zest and ginger and massage the two together with your fingers. You can also use a small wooden spoon or a fork, but you will miss the aromatic therapy.
  3. Beat the 2 sticks butter in a heavy-duty standing mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the ginger-lemon sugar and beat for a few seconds before adding the remaining 1 cup sugar; beat 2 minutes, until lightened and fluffy.
  4. Lower the mixer speed and drizzle in the eggs and salt; beat on medium-high speed for 2 more minutes – the mixture might look curdled but don’t worry. Slow the mixer to stir, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half the flour; mix 15 seconds before adding the remaining flour. Mix just until there’s no more flour visible.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour; insert a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the cake. If wet crumbs cling to the skewer, bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack 15 minutes before carefully loosening the sides with a knife. Turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
http://familystylefood.com/2013/01/fresh-ginger-lemon-cake/

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze recipe

I’ve pulled this recipe out of my favorites file – a moist, spiced pumpkin pound cake swirled with chocolate and glazed with a shiny-gorgeous chocolate sauce. I shared it over at the Go Bold with Butter blog recently too.

While I haven’t been able to turn the heat on in the house yet – still in denial that fall is here, I guess – my taste for the season is certainly in full swing. And there are lots of delicious things to come…think I’ll go find a big sweater and stock up on firewood.

I really love this time of year.

Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Yield: 10 -12

Ingredients

  1. 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  5. ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  6. ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  7. 3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups), softened
  8. 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  9. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  10. 6 eggs, room temperature
  11. 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
  12. 2/3 cup plain yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup Bundt cake pan and lightly dust with flour.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until combined. Remove 1 ¾ cups of this mixture to a second bowl and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Stir the cocoa into the remaining flour in the first bowl.
  3. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape out ½ the batter into another bowl and set it aside.
  4. To make the pumpkin batter, add the pumpkin to the batter in the mixing bowl and beat briefly on slow speed to blend. (FYI, the batter might appear curdled at this point, but that’s fine – it will come together when you add the flour). Stir in the spiced flour mixture until just blended.
  5. To make the chocolate batter, stir the reserved butter mixture into the cocoa mixture, alternating with the yogurt, until just blended.
  6. Spoon half the pumpkin batter into the pan; drop half the chocolate batter by spoonfuls over the pumpkin batter, without covering it completely; repeat with the remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters. Put a small, thin knife into the batter and circle it around the pan a few times, then draw the knife back and forth across the width of the pan to swirl the batters together.
  7. Bake about 1 hour, or until a tester emerges with a few moist crumbs. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cake is cool, make chocolate glaze: Put 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate, ½ cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon corn syrup and a pinch of fine salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (but not touching) until melted, stirring until smooth. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting some drip over the sides. Let stand until the glaze sets before serving, about 2 hours, or chill for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
  9. Recipe adapted from Sunset
http://familystylefood.com/2012/10/chocolate-pumpkin-pound-cake-2/

Lemon Polenta Cake

lemon-polenta-cake-recipe

had a lot of pots on the fire this week and I was hoping to share some of the contents with you. And I will… but today I want to keep it simple. So here’s a favorite dessert recipe from my file. It’s a rustic Italian cake made with lots of lemon and crunchy stoneground cornmeal –  polenta.

It’s the sort of peasant-style dessert I love. You could cut it into squares and eat it with your hands like a bite of coffee cake, or sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve alongside a generous pile of whatever summer fruit is the sweetest at the moment.

lemon-polenta-cake-recipe

Lemon Polenta Cake

Serving Size: serves 8 - 10

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup polenta, or coarse-ground cornmeal
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 egg whites
  8. 1/4 cup olive oil
  9. 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  10. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  11. 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon zest
  12. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place an oven rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan or standard loaf pan with lightly oiled parchment paper to fit.
  3. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs, egg whites and sugar in a heavy-duty stand mixer until pale and creamy. On low speed, mix in the oil. butter, yogurt, lemon zest and juice.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until just blended. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 - 40 minutes, or until the top feels firm (not hard) and a toothpick inserted in the center of cake come out clean. Cool completely before serving.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/06/lemon-polenta-cake/