Friday, 10 May 2013

Ginger banana cake


For the last couple of years at Christmas I've bought decorative blue and white china jars filled with chunks of crystallised ginger. Hardly any of it has survived to be made into anything, I just dip my hand into the pot every time I walk past the kitchen. I love fresh, lemony ginger, chocolate coated crystallised ginger, firey, sweet ground ginger, weird ginger gummy bears, ginger beer, ginger liqueur and ginger cordial. Acting on a tip from an Indian friend, I recently banished a lingering cough with ginger tea (made a ginger infusion with a little sugar and used that to make my normal black tea). I just love ginger.

I saw this recipe for making your own crystallised ginger. Serendipitously, it coincided with some very nice root ginger being discounted at the supermarket. It was meant to be. Reading the recipe more closely, I realised that it was actually to make something more like what the British call "stem" ginger - candied ginger preserved in syrup - rather than crunchy-coated crystallised ginger (which is what the picture shows...).

Even though there are several steps involved, none of it was onerous. And the end product was delicious - really firey, with a good texture (tender but with a bite to it). It also worked out marginally cheaper than the bought stuff.

I couldn't decide what to make with it. Ginger biscuits? Gelato? Parkin? Truffles? In the end, other factors forced my hand. Three over-ripe bananas.

I thought I'd posted about Nigella's banana bread before, because it is my favourite banana bread, but I can't find the post so I obviously didn't. And it very conveniently requires three over-ripe bananas (well, the recipe in How to be a domestic goddess calls for 300g, or four small, and my three large bananas weighed 300g). Instead of 100g sultanas and 75ml rum, I used 70g of my ginger, chopped, and 50ml ginger wine (just chucked them in, didn't worry about the warming etc).

It made a richly flavoured, very moist cake with a strong but not overpowering taste of ginger. Paul felt that it was almost as good as his Aunty Ena's cake, but since she was famed for carrot cake and this was banana cake I'm not sure how they could be compared? He also thought the ginger could have been in slightly finer pieces, which I will take on board.


12 comments:

Elly McCausland said...

This sounds gorgeous. I LOVE banana bread, probably my favourite cake ever, and I have also recently experimented with crystallised ginger in loaf cakes (see recent post on rhubarb and ginger brack...), so I can totally imagine how good this is!

Joanne said...

I ADORE crystallized ginger also! And even though this isnt' exactly crystallized, I still love the sound of it. you put it to good use!

Suelle said...

This sounds a delicious cake, and it certainly looks good!

Foodycat said...

Elly - I haven't had any rhubarb this year! Must get onto that.

Joanne - it really is delicious stuff. More gingery than the bought one.

Suelle - it's a great recipe. And the fruit-and-nut components are very forgiving of being mucked about!

Barbara said...

Looks moist and I like how you incorporated your homemade ginger. I agree with Paul, I like my ginger in tiny pieces....it's not something I would pick up and eat all on its own.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

oh nice recipe and you really like ginger :-)

grace said...

seems to me like you feel about ginger the way i feel about cinnamon! this must be your quintessential banana bread. :)

Caroline said...

Great looking cake! I too love ginger in all its forms, although especially when coated with chocolate!

Rosita Vargas said...

Se ve muy bien absolutamente delicioso,abrazos y abrazos.

hungryandfrozen said...

Oooh, excellent idea, adding ginger to the banana loaf. I love that recipe of hers too. Even though I'm not a fan of sultanas normally.

Very intrigued by ginger gummy bears!

Foodycat said...

Barbara - I might run it through the food processor next time, so it gives the flavour but not too chunky pieces.

Rebecca - I really do!

Grace - I go in phases. Sometimes I am all about nutmeg!

Caroline - coated with chocolate really is the best.

Rosita - thank you!

Laura - they are very intriguing.

Simona said...

I never contemplated making candied ginger, but of course, why not? And now that I have your recommendation, I will definitely put it into my to-try list. I actually use it fairly often in baked goods. I like the idea of pairing banana and ginger!

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