Rye and Ginger Cake
This cake is a simple delight, a nice ending for a rich dinner or something to enhance teatime. It depends on ginger, the candied kind, though some ground ginger ramps up the cool spice flavor. The candied ginger, and also raisins, are macerated in whiskey — rye in this case, though bourbon, Scotch, or Irish or Japanese whiskey would be fine. And the whiskey contributes to a final glaze.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1cup/150 grams chopped crystallized ginger
- ½cup/75 grams golden raisins
- ⅔cup/156 milliliters rye whiskey
- 6ounces/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened, plus butter for greasing pan
- 2cups/240 grams all-purpose flour, plus flour for pan
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- 1teaspoon ground ginger
- ½teaspoon salt
- 1cup/213 grams light brown sugar, packed
- 3large eggs
- 3tablespoons/38 grams granulated sugar
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place crystallized ginger and raisins in a small saucepan. Add half the whiskey, bring to a simmer, remove from heat and set aside.
Step 2Butter a loaf pan that is 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches. Dust with flour.
Step 3Sift flour, baking powder, ground ginger and salt together. Set aside. By hand or machine, beat butter and brown sugar together until well blended and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in chopped ginger and raisins along with the soaking whiskey. Spread batter in pan and bake about 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Step 4Place pan on a rack to cool. When cool, remove cake from pan and place it, top side up, back on the rack. Place a sheet of foil or parchment under the rack to protect your countertop.
Step 5In a small saucepan, bring remaining whiskey and the granulated sugar to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Use a thin wooden skewer to poke holes in the cake. Brush on sugar and whiskey glaze. Allow to set another 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving cake. If well wrapped in foil and allowed to rest a day or two without cutting, the flavors of the cake will ripen and mellow.