Recipe: Honey cake with fresh ginger and sourdough
This recipe has grown out of one I wrote back in 1998 for my first book, “Baking with Passion”, where I was making a honey cake and wanted it to have a fresh bright ginger flavour. The bran-rich nuttiness of the Foricher’s Organic Farine Complète t150 Brun de Plaisir flour suits this cake to a tee and helps to make a mixture high in natural fructose and glucose more stable, as the bran soaks up the honey and moisture as it bakes; if the cake was made with only white flour it might collapse upon itself during cooling. After baking, the crumb is very moist and slightly sticky, with a fragrant, gently spiced aroma. The amount of egg in the recipe needs to be accurate, so break them into a bowl, discarding the shells, whisk them, and just use what is required.
Ingredients and recipe:
250g unsalted butter
200g light brown sugar
227g honey, like our beautiful Black Bee Honey
260g whole egg (around 5 medium eggs)
130g sourdough starter, ideally 24 hours since refreshment, or spent sourdough starter
50g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1.5 tsp (2g) ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp (2.7g) ground allspice
1.5 tsp (2.2g) ground ginger
1.5 tsp (6g) baking powder
- Line a 2lb loaf tin or similar with non-stick baking paper. Have a large mixing bowl ready.
- Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted, then cook until a foam appears and the milk solids have turned to a light nut-brown colour. This is called “brown butter”, or in French cooking “beurre noisette”. As soon as it does, tip it into a large mixing bowl to stop it cooking and add the sugar and honey to reduce the temperature quickly. Stir together and leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Next, whisk in the eggs and sourdough until smooth then mix in the grated fresh ginger and ground spices. Finally, whisk in the flour and baking powder until smooth. Let me warn you that the mixture will be very liquid.
- Pour the mixture into the lined tin, then bake at 160°C fan for about 50 minutes or until a skewer poked-in comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before lifting out of the tin; peel off the paper and store in a cake tin.