This cake was partly born from my monthly chocolate craving (hello hormonal cycle), and partly from a slight desperation regarding a jar of very ‘potent’ ginger jam. While I do love ginger in all sorts of sweet and savoury dishes, the aforementioned ginger jam has such an intense flavour, that even spreading it millimetre-thin on a slice of bread of toast isn’t enough to ‘neutralize’ it. Since very spicy ingredients are best balanced out with sweet ones, I decided to try to use the jam in a cake – and what’s a better combination than chocolate and ginger? So I used the recipe below to spice up an otherwise simple chocolate cake and ended up with a delicious chocolate ginger cake with just the right amount of spicy ginger and sweet dark chocolate flavours. I recommend adjusting the amount of ginger jam to your liking – or just go for a different kind of jam like raspberry or cherry.
- 300 g plain wheat flour
- 170 g sugar
- 80 ml mild vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 100 ml apple sauce
- 150 ml plain soy milk
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons ginger jam
- 150 g dark chocolate for glazing
- vegetable oil or margarine for greasing the baking dish
In a medium sized bowl, mix oil, apple sauce, soy milk and sugar and beat lightly for two minutes. Add flour, cocoa powder, vanilla essence and baking powder and beat until you get a smooth, well combined batter. Start preheating the oven to 180° C. Grease a cake dish with a 24 cm diameter and spoon in the batter. Bake at 180° C for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the baking dish and transfer to a cooling tray. Leave to cool for a couple of hours.
Now you need to cut your cake horizontally in two layers. You can do this by using a big, sharp knife or using a neat trick involving – wait for it – dental floss. If you want to use dental floss, take a long (!) string of dental floss (seriously, it will need to be long enough to wrap around the cake once with enough leftover length so you can easily grip it) and wrap it horizontally around the cake. Make sure it lays at the exact height where you want to cut your cake! If you ended up with a slightly hard crust, you can cut a little bit into the crust ( using a small knife) and slit the dental floss into the cut. Once you have placed the dental floss around your cake, cross it in the front and gently start to pull at both ends. The dental floss will now cut smoothly through your cake, creating a perfectly horizontal cut. If you don’t trust this method – a big knife will do just fine.
Carefully remove the upper layer from the cake (I do this by slipping a slim cutting board between the layers, but use whatever works best for you). Take half of the ginger jam and gently spread it on the lower layer of the cake. If the jam isn’t easily spreadable, heat it for a few seconds in the microwave – this will make it softer. Place the upper cake layer back on the lower one and spread the remaining jam on top of the cake. Melt the dark chocolate and brush on top of the cake. Leave to cool for a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy!