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.