Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tamarind and Fresh Ginger Cake – an Asian inspired affair

I know, I know its been so long here. I have been out of touch with this blog.

But of touch with this blog.

But there have been so many things going on at the same time.
A lot of baking, shooting for the book with Chi Anh. A job change (which I love!). And an impending trip to Europe (tonight!). It’s all happening and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.
Gratefulness is what I feel throughout this whole time. I think without Chi Anh, I would have almost given up. We both have gone through an incredible period of excitement, pain and even heartbreak. It’s incredible how you can share so much with a person you haven’t met. Real connection is beyond physical distance. We talk most days, and her presence in my life is so real and cannot be replaced. Thank you, buddy!

And of course, my family, who has happily eaten far more cakes than what is considered to be healthy. Nice cakes, yes. And also the not-so-good one (why did I think of making a tofu based cake? It was a horror story!).

Of course, there are unexpected surprise, too. This tamarind and fresh ginger cake was inspired as I did a lot of research and ‘soul searching’ for my book. It plays on the tangy sweet-sour flavour of tamarind and the spicy warmth of ginger. The cake is really lovely, somewhat a cross of gingerbread cake and lemon pound cake. Moist and soft crumbs…
I almost forgot about it totally, until last weekend when Mr. B and I got a chance to try the amazing gingerbread cake with smoked maple butter at Pope Joan. I can’t say my cake is the same as that one, but if you like gingerbread, this is for you….


Tamarind and fresh ginger cake with lime glazing

Inspired by two incredible bakers -David Lebovitz and Dan Lepard.


30g dried tamarind paste
150ml water
125g unsalted butter
80g dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
30g fresh ginger
100g icing sugar
Juice of ½ lime
20g chopped glace ginger (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter and line the base and side of the loaf pan (17cm size, which is half of the standard loaf pan you can normally buy).
Put the tamarind paste into a small sauce pan with 150ml of water. Bring to a gentle boil, and mash up the tamarind. Pick out the hard tamarind bit. Peel the ginger, then finely grate them into the butter mixture.
Whisk in the butter until it is completely melted, leave the mixture to cool. Add in the egg, a pinch of salt and sugar mixture and mix well to combine.
Sift flour and baking soda to the butter and tamarind mixture, mix until the mixture just incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake the loaf for 35-45 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean if pieced in the middle of the cake. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
Making the icing: sift the icing sugar in a bowl, gradually add the lime juice and whisk well to have a thick and smooth consistency. Adjust the consistency with extra icing sugar or lime juice.
When the cake is cool, drizzle the icing on top of the cake. Arrange the chopped crystallised ginger on top if using.

Walnut, tamarind and fresh ginger cake: adding 50g coarsely chopped toasted walnuts to the cake batter before baking.
Spiced tamarind cake: omit the ginger and add ½ teaspoon of ground allspice to the cake mixture.

Note: You can bake a full-size loaf by doubling the ingredients.

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