Wildlands' gingercake paired with Guther's eggnog icecreamFor the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a dark ginger cake recipe. It’s an admixture of recipes— a bit of David Lebovitz (from Ready for Dessert ), a bit more from my grandmother’s recipe (from a small cookbook my  mom gave me a few years ago), and a bit o’ me. It’s a very dark cake— it appears to be chocolate upon first glance. But, no… pure unadulterated ginger bliss!

After a bit of tweaking, I came to a few conclusions. Reducing the oven temperature and baking in a water bath helps the sides from not hardening overly much (but does increase the baking time from 1 hour to nearly 1.5 hours). The addition of orange rind and crystallized ginger adds flavor and visual interest. Chopping the fresh ginger into a paste increases the overall ginger flavor.

dark ginger cake_Christmas eveIt’s not a pretty cake, so a dusting of powdered sugar or perhaps topped with fresh chopped pineapple is recommended. I brought this to Christmas Eve dinner and also to a Christmas night soiree. I paired it with Gunther’s egg nog ice cream and all of us had the same response–YUM! A crowd pleaser for sure.

A link to DL’s recipe can be found here. A link to Gunther’s Ice Cream can be found here. If you haven’t been to Gunther’s, I recommend you drop in for egg nog (sold by the quart and half-gallon) or pick up some eggnog ice cream (half-gallon for $7.25). It’ll be gone soon and you’ll have to wait a whole YEAR to try it. Since 1940, Gunther’s has been an institution in my neighborhood (and greater Sacramento) and once you’ve tried their ice cream, you’ll understand why.

I’ll be making this cake again soon and will certainly add it to Wildlands’ winter repertoire. I’m working on altering the recipe to create a breakfast muffin…more on that soon. The top photograph is by Sarah Singleton and the second photo with twinkly lights in the background is courtesy of Angela Lowrie.