Sweet Stuff

Guest Post: Ginger Cake with Lemon Curd

This is a guest post from my friend Chris who also helped me with my cupcake recipe. He is an amazing baker. His partner, David, also runs a badass podcast: DJ Deedle. I listen to it on my way to work on Fridays. Awesome stuff.

I have to admit that writing this guest blog post was more of a challenge than I suspected it would be. From the moment I told Nick I would be happy to do the post, I began to wonder what in the hell I would make. There are quite a few of my recipes that I love, but I decided on ginger cakes with lemon curd. They’re not only good, but simple too. So simple, in fact, you don’t even need a mixer. I figured that would makes them perfect for a blog post.

Now making your own lemon curd can seem a bit daunting, but what do you have to lose? Give it a shot, and if it doesn’t turn out you can go and buy some at the store; most good ones will carry it these days. If you’re feeling the need for a safety net that is already in place, order some online and have it ready to go.

I confess that I love the spicy, peppery flavor of the ginger paired with the tart sweetness of the lemon curd. I have made this recipe throughout the year and it always seems to go over well. This is definitely not one of those desserts that are psychologically tied to a particular season. I make them in mini-bundt pans and fill the center with the lemon curd. I think they look like a Black-Eyed Susan with the colors reversed (I guess this would make them a yellow-eyed Susan, which suddenly sounds less appetizing).

 

Ginger Cake with Lemon Curd

Just a moment please...

Yield
10 cakes, depending on size
Prep Time
Total Time

Ingredients

Ginger Cakes
150 ml. water
80 g. diced fresh ginger
113 g. unsalted butter (1 stick)
120 g. dark brown sugar (1/2 cup firmly packed)
86 g. honey
86 g. blackstrap molasses (although unsulfured dark molasses should work fine)
1 egg
178 g. flour (1.25 cups plus 1T)
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt

Lemon Curd:

180 g. granulated sugar (about 1.5 cups plus 2T)
2 teas cornstarch
100 ml. fresh lemon juice
5 egg yolks
113 g. unsalted butter (1 stick)
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Directions

TO make curd:
1) Separate eggs. Set up a small bowl with a mesh strainer over the top. Add the sugar and cornstarch to a small pot.

2) Mix these two ingredients together with a whisk to avoid any clumping Add the lemon juice.

3) Drop in the yolks and give it a good mix until you have a homogeneous liquid.

4) Add the butter and set it over a medium high heat.

5) Whisk constantly being sure to get the whisk in the edges of the pan. This mixture will scorch pretty easily, so be vigilant. Keep whisking, rotating the pan to get to the entire surface of the bottom of the pan until the mixture begins to boil.

6) Once it reaches a boil continue whisking for about 20 more seconds.

7) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the curd through the strainer into the bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and place the bowl in the refrigerator. The curd will need to cool thoroughly for a few hours.

For cakes:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Blend together water and ginger. Mix at high speed until the ginger is smooth.

3) Pour this into a small pot and add the butter. You just want to melt the butter and then set the mixture aside.

4) Mix the dry ingredients together into one bowl and set aside. Do the same with the molasses and the honey. Then whisk it all together.

5) Add the ginger mixture from the pot (which hopefully has cooled substantially…you don’t want to cook that egg) to the bowl and whisk some more. Pour the dry ingredients in and whisk again.

6) Just whisk/stir until everything comes together and most of the lumps are gone.
Butter little silicon or metal bundt pans (or a muffing pan)

7) Split the batter between your baking vessels and place them in the oven.

8) Bake time should be about 15 minutes, but I would check after 12 (especially if you are using a dark muffin pan).

9) If they look fully baked, stick a toothpick or a wood skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, pull them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack.

10) After about 15 minutes, put a layer of parchment or wax paper on the cooling rack and invert the cakes onto the paper, and let them cool completely.

11) All that is left to do is put them on a plate and spoon on the lemon curd.

2

I’m not one to separate eggs using the shells. I find that method slower than just using your hands, plus there is more danger of breaking the yolks with the shells. Just crack the egg and empty it onto your fingers, which should be slightly apart. Shake your hand gently from side to side and in no time the yolk is all on its lonesome. One more thing, do this while the egg is cold or it will make your job infinitely more difficult.

1

Before you begin your curd, set up a small bowl (I use my regular, everyday bowls) with a mesh strainer over the top. When you pour out the curd the strainer will remove any lumps that may have developed.

Add the sugar and cornstarch to a small pot, but keep in mind that the mixture will bubble up, almost doubling in volume when it’s heated, so give yourself some room to grow. Mix these two ingredients together with a whisk to avoid any clumping when the lemon juice is added, which you should do next. Drop in the yolks and give it a good mix until you have a homogeneous liquid. Add the butter and set it over a medium high heat.

You will now be tied to your stovetop for the next five minutes or so. Whisk constantly being sure to get the whisk in the edges of the pan. This mixture will scorch pretty easily, so be vigilant. Keep whisking, rotating the pan to get to the entire surface of the bottom of the pan until the mixture begins to boil.

3

Once it reaches a boil continue whisking for about 20 more seconds. When I was working in the bakery I would stir the lemon curd until a tiny speck of the curd popped up and scalded my hand, but I don’t think you need to go this far.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the curd through the strainer into the bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and place the bowl in the refrigerator.

You have now completed the hard work of this dessert. Fill the pan with water and leave the pans for later. Make yourself a drink and watch some reality television. Oh, and I should have mentioned that the curd will need to cool thoroughly. You should make this a few hours before you’re ready to serve the dessert. The good thing is that you can make it several days in advance and it will keep in the refrigerator (I would recommend transferring the lemon curd to a plastic container after a day or so).

Ginger Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take the water and the diced ginger and throw them into a blender.

4

Mix at high speed until the ginger is smooth. Pour this into a small pot and add the butter. You just want to melt the butter and then set the mixture aside.

5

Mix the dry ingredients together into one bowl and set aside. Do the same with the molasses and the honey. That being said, you could just as well throw the brown sugar in a large bowl, add the honey, molasses and the egg. Then whisk it all together. I put everything in little bowls because I thought it made a nice picture.

6

Add the ginger mixture from the pot (which hopefully has cooled substantially…you don’t want to cook that egg) to the bowl and whisk some more. Pour the dry ingredients in and whisk again.

8

You don’t want to go wild here. Just whisk/stir until everything comes together and most of the lumps are gone.

Now, I use little silicon bundt pans that I have already buttered.

9

You can use the metal pans that have several small bundts. Most of those come with six bundts, which is convenient because that is the yield for this recipe. If you don’t have any of these things, use a muffin pan. If it’s a nice one, just butter the cups and go for it. You can use paper liners, however, I would make one suggestion. After you pull them out of the oven, let them cool completely to room temperature and then put them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. This should help the paper to come off easily.

Split the batter between your baking vessels and place them in the oven. Bake time should be about 15 minutes, but I would check after 12 (especially if you are using a dark muffin pan). If they look fully baked, stick a toothpick or a wood skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, pull them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack.

After about 15 minutes, put a layer of parchment or wax paper on the cooling rack and invert the cakes onto the paper, and let them cool completely.

9b

All that is left to do is put them on a plate and spoon on the lemon curd.

11

Now you’re ready to dazzle your friends with your reverse black-eyed Susans.

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