Sunday, 7 September 2014

Chocolate and ginger sandwich cake

I am extremely suggestible with my baking.  Like most bakers I have a ‘to bake’ list, but then I’ll come across a recipe in a magazine or online and think, ‘that’s what I’m baking next’ and the list goes out the window.  That’s what happened here – I saw this recipe in a Sunday supplement magazine and all I could think about was how lovely chocolate and ginger sponge sounded.  When I leave for work in the morning I have noticed the aromas of Autumn starting to appear and obviously Autumn means spice so this cake had to be!

This is going to sound a stupid question (possibly because it is) but why is stem ginger only ever in ball shapes?  Why not just irregular chunks – it would do the same thing but waste less ginger.  Who decided that the only appropriate shape for stem ginger was a sphere?  And why are they always roughly the same size, to the extent that recipes will say ‘use one ball of stem ginger’ like it’s an actual recognised weight?  Answers on a postcard to….

The ginger and chocolate are very well balanced in this recipe – you get a nice hit of chocolate followed by a gentle spicy warmth.  The sponge is particularly light with a lovely soft crumb.  Perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea. 

This post marks the 7th anniversary of The Caked Crusader.  Seven years! Where has the time gone?  I’m now pretty close to a recipe for each day of the that sounds like a good year!


For the sponge:
50g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water
4 tablespoons milk
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 balls of stem ginger, very finely chopped -I used my mini food processor to blitz it small enough; if you don’t have one then consider grating it
175g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the buttercream:
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g icing sugar
2 tablespoons stem ginger syrup
1 tablespoon milk

To decorate: 1 ball of stem ginger, very finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

Start by making the cocoa paste: Stir the cocoa powder and boiling water together ensuring that there are no lumps.

Stir in the milk and take care to eliminate any powdery lumps.

Put the paste to one side.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, whippy and creamy looking.  Do not skimp on this stage.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the ground ginger and the finely chopped stem ginger.

Stir in the cocoa paste.

Fold in the flour and the baking powder taking care that the ingredients are well incorporated.

Spoon into the prepared tins and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the buttercream: beat the butter until it is pale and whippy.  I find that beating the butter first makes it lighter and easier to incorporate the icing sugar.

Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and well combined.

Add the ginger syrup and milk and continue to beat until you have a lovely smooth  buttercream – the best test is to take a tiny amount on your tongue and press it against the roof of your mouth.  If it feels grainy you need to continue beating it to dissolve the sugar.
Place one sponge on the serving plate and spread half the buttercream over it.

Place the second sponge on top and spread the remaining buttercream over it.

Decorate with finely chopped stem ginger.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Kim said...

I love how thick those layers of cake are! I'm the same with the 'to bake' list - there's loads of stuff on there that I really want to make but then sometimes I see something and I just HAVE to make it the very first chance I get. Can totally see why this one jumped the queue for you!

Charlene F said...

I love the look of this cake, I can imagine the ginger and chocolate and the buttercream complimented each other well. Congratulations on your 7 year anniversary as a blogger :-) x

Stuart Vettese said...

Chocolate and ginger - what a great combo. That cake is a behemoth, bet it tasted great.

Gloria Baker said...

I love this cake one of my favorites.mix is ginger and chocolate!
I bet taste amazing:)

FoodNerd said...

This cake looks great! Would be perfect for my Virtual Bake Sale for Macmillan Cancer Support- check it out here

FoodNerd x

Janine said...

Congratulations on seven years! I love ginger cake, and your questions about stem ginger have piqued my interest too!

Lisa Shannon said...

Congratulations CC . You usually influence my "To Do"l list!! Here's to the next seven years!!

LiSa said...

Happy 7th Anniversary!! I have been following you for definite the last 3 years! :0) I look forward to seeing what your post each week! This cake does not disappoint! Looks amazing! I too have my 'to bake'list that always goes out the window for the same reason you described above! ;0)

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Chocolate and ginger is such a great combination isn't it? I love the sweet, deep chocolatiness followed by the warm spicy wave! Congratulations on 7 years. No idea why ginger comes in balls.... weird!

Karen S Booth said...

What a FABULOUS looking cake and as a lover of chocolate covered crystallised ginger, I suspect this would be very welcome at my tea time table! Karen

snowy said...

Congratulations on 7 years blogging. Your cake looks delicious, and I love chocolate and ginger - interesting thought about stem ginger.

Hettie said...

You know I am just going to have to make this now I have seen it! I am on a fasting day too so this is even more scrummy looking to me.
I have never worked out why stem ginger is round, although the chocolate covered variety is lumpy and bumpy! As you can tell, I likes me ginger!
Now to find some stem ginger in my lunch break!

Katie said...

Wow 7 years, congratulations and heres to many more!
The cake looks delicious, tall and yummy as usual.
You've got me thinking about ginger now, I've never thought why it is only in balls when candied. I suppose its probably cut by a machine that scoops out balls with a melon ball type thing. Hmmm research needed! :)

Cakelaw said...

Ginger and chocolate is a winning combination - yum!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, that's some going. Not really familiar with stem ginger as usually use crystallised. Your cake looks utterly glorious and a perfect spicy number for this autumnal celebration. Choclette (unable to use my profile whilst away).

Maggie said...

7 years of commenting on each others blogs:) How time passes so quickly.
I too saw this cake and it looks delicious - I made the Spiced Dorset Apple cake from the supplement!

Anonymous said...

I'm coming late to the party - but I wanted to thank you for posting this. I was looking for a light, non-treacly ginger sponge, and this was perfect. I made it as mini-cakes so I had to alter the cooking times a bit, but it's a fabulous recipe. The batter is so light it's almost mousse-like, and it passes the most important test - it's so delicious to eat when you're licking out the bowl, that it's almost a shame to bake it! Thank you!