11 December 2011

Marbled Cinnamon Ginger Almond Loaf Cake

Realising the arrival of December was a shock to me. No matter how much i've prepared for these last 4 weeks of 2011, I could never comprehend how my time went by. How did Christmas creep up so soon? Did i fulfill all the goals i've aimed for during this time last year? What will be my new goals then?

Once these questions popped, my thoughts were  in disarray and my heart begins to beats like an R&B song. I was worried, I was afraid, I was excited. And my eyes were blinking in jitters as if it was trying to replay what it has captured.

I thought about everything that happened. All the memories i should keep (because it tends to auto-delete), all the memories i should let go of. This year was a year of transition for me. Graduating from my Bachelor's degree, moving back to where i grew up, where i was born, working an office job, and revamping my blog to what it is now. I went though fearsome events, surprising events, remorseful events and happy joyous events.Going through all that change is never easy. I have a lot to forgive and forget, a lot more to be forgiven for and most of all to be thankful for. 
One of the most amazing joyous events I have went through, is how I improved my baking skills. I went through angel food cake, macaroons, cinnamon rolls, 6-layer cakes, rainbow cake, flaky crusts, swiss rolls and  mousse cakes. I now know what's creaming the butter, what's "mixing it like crazy" and what's "do not over mix". So, why not put that to use?

I'm not a big fan of ginger, how it tastes and how it smells. However, i'm the biggest fan of Gingey the gingerbread man (and i means "biggest" literally). Hence, when media shows its victory (once again) as i purchase this $25 can of ginger cookies, which i don't adore, i had to put it to use.

Immediately, pound cake came to my mind. I've never made one before and never succeeded in making cakes with that buttery, soft, yet dense texture. As far as my baking adventurist goes, I had to make one. Hence, when i saw this at Technicolor kitchen, I knew it was perfect for me. There wasn't too much ginger and the play of Almond with spices intrigued me.
Marbled Cinnamon Ginger almond loaf cake (adapted from Technicolor Kitchen)

Cake:
150g cake flour*
75g almond mea
l10g teaspoons baking powder
5g teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter, room temperature
90g granulated sugar
30g light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
180ml whole milk, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
60ml dark molasses
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 22.5x12.5x7.5cm (9x5x3in) loaf pan.
2. Whisk together the cake flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Place butter and granulated & light brown sugar in a large bowl and beat in medium speed until pale and fluffy. 
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition (scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally). 
5. Reduce the speed to low and alternately incorporate the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
6. Remove half of the batter and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir the vanilla extract into one bowl and the molasses and spices into the other. 
7. Drop large dollops of both batters into the prepared pan. Alternating laces.
8. Using a paring knife or wooden skewer, swirl the batters together to get a marbled effect – do not overmix.tap the pan gently once or twice on the work surface to remove any air bubbles.
9. Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake browns too fast, use an aluminium foil to cover it and continue baking.
10. Cool the cake in the pan over a wire rack for 15-20 minutes then carefully unmold onto the rack. Cool completely. 

The creaming of butter, incorporating of eggs and not over mixing the dry and wet ingredients is important to the texture of the cake. It's dense and packed with flavours that melts as you taste it (thanks to butter and molasses), yet its soft and light because the creaming introduces air pockets into the batter. The ginger and cinnamon makes it warm and comforting but the lightness of the cake makes it inviting for seconds. My cake turned out much darker. This is probably due to the use of unsulphured molasses. If you want a lighter colour, you can always use half honey with half molasses. 


How's your year,
Jes

30 comments:

  1. The flavours of this loaf cake sounds lovely and christmasy. You've posted some seriously delicious recipes over the past few weeks! I know what you mean about time flying by, this year has probably been my quickest yet.

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  2. It is possible that we should get married. I'll have to tell 2.0. He'll be disappointed, but if you bake for him, he'll probably get over it.

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  3. @ Mandy: It is! I'm surprised how the flavours worked out together. Yes, time do fly by! :)

    @ movita: haha! send my apologies to 2.0... I'd bake him some brownies but i doubt that'd be enough... thank you for cracking me up as always!

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  4. i inspired of your baking spirit. your recipe so christmasy, i like it!

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  5. Yum this looks delicious! Those flavors sound perfect together.

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  6. @ Ira: Thank you! Yours got me missing my hometown, which i'm going to, very soon!! :)

    @ Ruby: They are a surprise! like a coincident find in an antique shop.

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  7. What a great recipe! I never saw a marble cake made with anything except chocolate/plain so I love that you've done it with such delicious Chritmassy spices! :)

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  8. Yum I love almond! This would make such a great Christmas gift...

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  9. @ Charles: It is christmas after all! :) Thank you!

    @ Emily: I love almond too... They keep everything moist. :)

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  10. Looks so delicious and the spices are perfect for the festive season!

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  11. That is really a beautiful loaf. This is my first visit toyour site, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. This looks like a great christmassy recipe. And such lovely photos!

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  13. Thanks for the comment! Do you have Earl Grey teabags? You can add those with a dash of vanilla and make London Fog Shortbread. (It was my initial flavour combo I was going to go with, but decided I like the unsuspecting spice the Chai tea gave the shortbread)

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  14. Great array of ingredients- Cinnamon, Ginger, Almond. All together must make one tasty cake. Nice recipe.

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  15. @ Jenn: Warms you right up!

    @ Mary: Thank you for looking through my posts... I have so much to learn from you :)

    @ Lottie: Your cupcakes drive me nuts! I tried to comment several time, "PAPA host" keeps rejecting my comments :(

    @ Heather: I was browsing for chai tea... won't compromise it for another tea :)

    @ TheYummyMorsel: Indeed, Almond changes it all... I couldn't visit your website or your profile... would love to see your website :)

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  16. I wish I could give you a hug right now, especially for this post but also for your recent ones I did not find the time to comment on-

    You are doing a great job- not only here at your blog.

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  17. I know what you mean. Every year I tell myself to start preparing for christmas early but never really got to doing that. This is such a great loaf! Everything has the usual Christmas flavours and I honestly could use more chocolate.

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  18. I can hardly believe it is right around the corner. So fast! But this loaf of bread is just lovely. Beautiful writing, beautiful treat! Thank you for sharing and for visiting my blog. Your words brought a smile to my face.

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  19. @ Adora: I could use chocolate as well. Apparently, people around me has had enough chocolate (something i never feel)

    @ Monet: Thank you for visiting too !

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  20. It's such a great feeling when you realise you've mastered certain techniques in baking, and this post is the perfect celebration of that. Your loaf looks lovely and I love the little gingerbread men next to it too!

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  21. This contains all my favourite flavours - cut me a slice please....a big one!

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  22. wow what a gorgeous recipe and so beautifully presented. Thanks for stopping by my blog as it means I have also now found your wonderful blog and will be keeping tabs on your recipe posts!

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  23. Hi. Thanks for dropping by. You have a lovely blog here. Sounds like you've had quite an eventful year. This loaf cake looks amazing! Like you I'm not a fan of ginger (or almonds actually) but I wouldn't mind trying a piece of this as it looks delicious! Happy christmas and best wishes for the following year!

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  24. @ thelittleloaf: Indeed! When i finally realized how much i've been baking with "luck" instead of knowledge... I was over the moon... :)

    @ the Caked Crusader: Thank you for visiting back!

    @ Working london mummy: Thank you for the comment! I'm glad you like it here...

    @ Baking Addict: Yes, this year has been crazy. I would suggest to opt out the ginger for more cinnamon (or green tea for fun) and almond for pistachio (or cocoa)... The texture of this cake is splendid...

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  25. Your presentation is beautiful, makes your recipes very tempting.

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  26. The cake looks delicious! Its perfect for the holidays.

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  27. I think almond and ginger are a lovely combination, and the spices make this perfect for the holidays - lovely cake!

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  28. @ Janice: This cake is by far, the fastest "sold-out" cake in the house. :) This recipe is really worth a try...

    @ Asmita: Thank you! Indeed, its warm but light, so you don't feel guilty for dinner...

    @ Jammy: Thank you... i credit Technicolor Kitchen for this amazing recipe! :)

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  29. You are a wonderfully talented baker and this is yet another example of that! Gorgeous recipe :-)

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