It was a hot and hazy Saturday afternoon, and despite the successful batch of Peanut Butter Fudge slowly chilling in the fridge (see yesterday’s post), there was no time for Lex Leafy and I to rest on our laurels. This, as I explained before, was the weekend of The Great Bakeroo: two days of baking for baking’s sake, in which licking the bowl and gorging on crumbs was compulsory.
With three recipes still to make, and blood-sugar levels already rising, we decided to plump for a less naughty option next: Ginger Cake made with wholemeal spelt flour (and covered in cream cheese frosting).
Again, we were inspired by the Beeb, adapting a recipe that L.L. had sampled on a course not long ago (click here to get it yourself). No doubt the recipe would’ve been fine as it was, but for two things: firstly, I had some spelt flour I wanted to try in place of the ordinary wholemeal the original recipe calls for; secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Lex is allergic to oranges (hence the need for cream cheese, rather than the orange icing suggested on the BBC Food website).
This was my first time using spelt flour, but I was very keen to try it out. Apparently one of the healthiest grains, it contains iron, zinc and riboflavin (i.e. vitamin B2, which is good for improving metabolism – something Lex and I were already in dire need of at this point, having licked out the fudge pan and numerous utensils). Sadly unsuitable for coeliacs, spelt is fine for people with allergies to common wheat (not me, but you never know…)
Anyway, the spelt flour I was using, from a Somerset farm called Sharpham Park, was also 100% organic, so I felt rather smug as I sifted it in (not forgetting a sprinkle of baking powder to make it self-raising). This cake, we told ourselves, will be tasty AND good for us. After all, in addition to the batch of healthy spelt flour, there was ginger galore (good for combating colds, travel sickness, stomach aches, and whatever else you care to name).
My word, Ogglers. Healthy or not, the mixture was both sloppy and delicious and we wondered whether it really needed to be baked. By that time, however, it was already in the oven. Dang. Still, if you try out this recipe yourself, I strongly urge you to get slurping pre-bake (just don’t blame me if you get salmonella – even though it’s worth the risk).
Fifty minutes later we had two huge steaming cakes on our hands, and the room was filled with the beautiful stench of hot sweet ginger. To my surprise, even though I’d used a load of spelt flour (400g to 50g of plain), a cheeky taster of the finished product proved the cake to be incredibly light, with a really lovely texture.
When it cooled we added our cream cheese frosting (using a simple recipe of icing sugar, cream cheese and butter from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook), and tucked right in. In a word: glorious.
In eight more words: tangy, moist and – of course – extremely healthy(!)