I began writing this blog, right before graduating from architecture graduate school. This has not only been a recorder of culinary experiments in four different kitchens (yes! I have moved that many times in the past nine months), but of the transition into the professional world, flirting with independence from the typical post graduation path, to quick reinstitution into the world of architecture.
I barely talk about architecture here, because I used to think of this blog as an escape from the anxiety induced by it. To people outside the profession, it might seem strange, but architects are an anxious bunch, with big agendas, lots of optimism, and not enough time. We complain a lot about how bad things are right now, and how little jobs there are, and how we are overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid.
Maybe it is because I am young, or because there is little to no stability, or maybe I am just worried. Almost every recipe I have cooked is some sort of a response to everyday banal troubles related to this anxiety.
But without a clear path I will continue to cook, and hopefully the road with become less fogy, and I will be able to see, what is laying ahead, right in front of me, one recipe at a time.
The recipe for this cake is different from others cake. Typical cake recipe start by creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, then finish off by adding flour and milk. Here the wet ingredients are added to the dry, and mixed well until well aerated and fluffy. In a sense it is the inverse of the traditional method. Wet ingredients (a mixture of eggs, milk, extracts, and spices) are incorporated into the dry in three steps, followed by a thorough beating of the ingredients for a full minute. This is meant to develop the cakes structure, giving both consistency and moisture. An electric mixer is crucial here, as it will make it really easy to beat.
The resulting cake is a delicious, buttery cake, with a hint of spice from the ginger, and sweetness from the almond extract. You can add more ginger if feeling risky, and experimental. A thick border should develop around the whole cake, keeping all the moisture inside.
Ginger Pound Cake
adapted form Joy of Baking
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 13 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter loaf pan, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and almond extract, and grated ginger. Set aside. In a stand mixer, combine all dry ingredients, baking powder, flour, salt, and sugar. Add room temperature butter to the dry ingredients, and ½ the wet ingredients, mix at low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Bring speed up to medium and beat for a full 60 seconds. Add ½ of the remaining wet ingredients and mix again for 30 seconds at medium speed. Repeat with remaining wet ingredients. Batter should be smooth and fluffy with a light yellow color. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting and removing a toothpick into the cake; it should come out clean if ready.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely. Cake stays fresh for a couple days at room temperature, a week in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer. Tastes best when toasted with a large mug of hot green tea.