You know how you eye a recipe, and keep eyeing it year after year? Well this is one of those recipes, that caught my eye, but I never made until now.
We have such a small family, so it never makes sense to make an overabundance of baked goods for the holidays when our daughters are home, plus one son-in-law. None of us is a huge sweets eater for one thing. So I typically manage a pie, maybe a stollen of sorts, or ebelskivers, but that’s about it per holiday. Otherwise there’s just too much!
So I close up the cookbooks with the post-it notes, and put them away until the following holiday season, and hope to make the recipes one more time.
But this time I did it. This recipe is quite altered, because the original recipe suggested fresh cranberries and ground ginger. Instead, I used crystallized ginger. If you’ve never played around with crystallized ginger, you need to give it a try. Although you should buy enough so that once you start nibbling on it, you’ll have enough for the actual recipe!
So here is my version of cranberry ginger cake, that’s served with a cranberry jelly. It came out pretty well, if I may say so myself. Except for the parts that stuck to the bundt cake pan. I just didn’t take photos of those parts. Stuff happens when you bake.
Cranberry Ginger Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped crystallized ginger
2 1/2 cups cranberries, sorted, rinsed, dried
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt-type pan and set aside.
Firstly, place all of your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl. Have your eggs and vanilla extract in a small bowl. And have your crystallized ginger chopped, if necessary, and ready to go.
Place the butter in a large bowl, and begin beating the butter to soften.
Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
When all of the sugar is incorporated, begin adding the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. The batter will be nice and smooth.
Continue with the remaining milk and flour mixture, until you’ve used it all up. Try not to spend too much time doing this; the baking powder will begin activating, and it’s best that it works its leavening magic when the cake is actually in the oven.
Because of this, I often stop using the electric beaters and take over with a good spatula or spoon. Add the crystallized ginger and fold that into the batter, then add the cranberries and do the same.
Let the cake cool. Meanwhile, make the cranberry glaze:
In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the same amount of water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Then add 1/2 cups of sorted and rinsed cranberries.
Continue to cook this mixture for at least 15 minutes.
Then pour the mixture into a sieve over a bowl. Press on the cooked cranberries, and then discard, unless you have a use for what is left.
The cranberry glaze will thicken quickly. You have to choices. 1. You can use the cranberry glaze like a gel, and serve it with the cake, or 2. Return the glaze to a saucepan and heat it over high heat to liquefy the glaze, and then pour it over the cake. I chose the jelly way, because I liked the texture.
If I had to do it all over again, I would also serve this cake with some slightly sweetened whipped cream, along with the cranberry jelly.
verdict: This is really a fabulous cake. It’s very moist and flavorful. I love the addition of fresh cranberries, instead of using the dried variety, because they keep the cake from being dry. Of course, not over-baking helps as well. And the crystallized ginger provides little ginger bursts of flavor throughout the cake. It is pretty darn good! And because it’s not terribly sweet, it would be great for breakfast, too!