I am hopeless when it comes to acquiring cookware... and bakeware. I easily justify it though! Unlike my mother's completely unnecessary (but endearing) purchases (i.e. onion goggles and avocado slicers), I actually use everything in my cabinets. In all fairness, I adore being in my kitchen, whereas she has other interests. Usually some ingredient that catches my eye at the farmers market is what gets my mind going with recipe ideas.
This time, it was my pretty kugelhopf cake mold. I wanted to make a simple cake, and get lavish with the presentation instead. So I repurposed my mold for a Spiced Ginger Stout Cake, since I'm a sucker for warm winter spices when it's cold. (A kugelhopf mold is traditional to southern German/Austrian/Swiss marble or bundt cakes, often consisting of a soft yeast dough with raisins, almonds and cherry brandy.... I'll have to give that a go another day!)
This cake recipe is an adaptation from the immensely talented Pastry Chef Claudia Flemming (of Gramercy Tavern in NYC). I have substituted the sugars and regular wheat Flour to make it Gluten Free, and use more natural sugars (such as date and coconut), which retain a lot more nutritional properties and minerals than white refined sugar. That said, any dessert should be a special treat if aiming to have a low-glycemic/low-carb diet, as I do.
Preparation // 75 minutes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x5" Loaf Pan - I recommend it more than the sophisticated Kugelhopf Mold in the photos, for more even baking.
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the stout, date sugar, and 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil (watchful not to have the foam spill over). Turn off heat, add baking soda, and allow to sit until foam dissipates.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut sugar. Whisk in oil.
In a large bowl, measure (and sift) all the dry ingredients: flour, ground spices, and baking powder.
Combine the cooled (can be warm but not hot) stout mixture with the egg mixture.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture 1/3rd at a time. Adding too much liquid at once will make it harder to create a smooth velvety batter. When almost fully incorporated, add the freshly grated ginger.
Pour batter into the loaf pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when gently pressed. Don't open oven until the the cake is almost done, to avoid having the center fall. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
To serve, slice and garnish with Caramel Blood Oranges, or sliced kumquats, see Variation note below.
INGREDIENTS // SERVES 10
1C Stout - (Preferably a darker variety like Chocolate)
3/4C Date Sugar dissolved into 3T hot water
1/2T Baking Soda
3 Large Eggs
1C Granulated Coconut or Date Sugar
3/4C Vegetable Oil*
2C Gluten Free Flour Mix (like Cup4Cup)
2T Ground Ginger
1.5t Baking Powder
3/4t Ground Cinnamon
1/4t Ground Cloves
1/4t Freshly Ground Nutmeg
1/8t Ground Cardamom
1T Freshly Grated (peeled) Ginger
GARNISH: SLICED KUMQUATS If you want to keep it simple but still balance the sweetness of cake with a tart garnish, instead of the Caramel Blood Oranges Recipe, I recommend slicing raw kumquats into thin discs, and serving alongside a dollop of slightly sweetened creme fraîche or ice cream of your choice.
Kumquats are also in season this time of year (winter/spring), with a sweet rind and more sour center, they are delicious to eat like a snack, too. You can eat them whole; try it!