Nut-Free Ginger Cake
I mentioned in a previous post that I had a beautiful Ginger Cake baking in the oven, a recipe I found in the book Frugavore by Arabella Forge. Well, here it is! Now you can bake away and fill your kitchen with a delightful ginger aroma until your heart's content. I'll confess, I'm enjoying the last little slither of cake as I write this post.
It's very easy to get caught up in this healthy but more expensive way of eating that is taking the world by storm at the moment. I will admit, I have been happily swept up in this nut-storm also! Food prepared with nuts, seeds, maple syrup, Medjool dates and coconut oil is absolutely delicious, filled with nutrients and will make your body thank you for the extra dollars you have spent gathering the ingredients! However, I appreciate that it may not be realistic for everyone, particularly families or those with hungry teenagers who are likely to eat a whole batch of slice or bliss balls if left unattended!
The core message of Frugavore (which is the most inpsiring read) is too limit waste and be thrifty and frugal with your food. And not just what you eat but how you gather it, where you gather it from, how you grow it and using as much as you can of every little inch of edible thing. Right through to recycling nutrients back into the soil that you grow your food in. It's makes perfect sense. Arabella's words have been a timely reminder that it’s time to be resourceful and really focus on replicating the actions of our grandmother's and our grandmother's mothers. I bet you those women would have wasted very little yet ate highly nutritious foods from season to season.
I'm not saying I will stop purchasing my nuts, seeds, maple syrup or coconut oil. I love a good nut. Especially roasted in maple syrup (I have a great recipe to share with you soon). However, I'm going to get to know my area better, become familiar with road-side stalls or trees on community land laden with edible goods such as nuts and fruit. I'm going to ready my beloved gumboots and bucket for foraging missions and invest in a nut cracker. It's a bit more work but something that is pleasantly satisfactory. I'm also going to be really conscious of using up leftovers before making a new meal. It's amazing what little bits and pieces can come together to make a delicious and nutritious meal.
This earthy ginger cake is great for using staple ingredients you have on hand that are relatively inexpensive and nutritious. The original recipe called for spelt flour, however to make a gluten-free cake I substituted the spelt flour for brown rice flour which worked perfectly. This cake is moist, dense and full of ginger flavour. I absolutely adore ginger so I loved this cake. I've also had a few requests for a nut-free recipe so this cake is perfect for those who aren't as nut-mad as me. As I said before, I do love a good nut but I certainly didn't miss them in this cake.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years both in cooking and as a herbal remedy. Interestingly Chinese sailors ate ginger to avoid nausea at sea while Greek people used it as a digestive aid following a large meal. Ginger is well-known for helping to ease nausea and settling a sore stomach. It's also a great natural remedy for inflammation and helping to ward off a cold during the winter months.
While this cake is baking, your house will be filled with a warming, soothing aroma that will have everyone flock to the oven for a piece! It's moist enough to be served alone, however it would be delicious served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or freshly whipped cream. For a little extra indulgent lemon kick you could fold a little lemon curd through the yoghurt or cream.
Nut-Free Ginger Cake - recipe from page 292 of Frugavore by Arabella Forge
Serves 10-12 depending on who is cutting the slices!
1.5 cups brown rice flour
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup coconut milk or any milk that you have on hand
90g butter, softened
4 free-range eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
Juice 1 lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pre-heat the oven to 180° and line a cake tin with baking paper.
In a bowl combine the flour with the yoghurt and milk to make a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to sit at room temperature. Twenty-four hours is ideal but I left mine for one hour only and it was fine.
Using a food processor, combine the butter, eggs, sugar and honey. Add the remaining ingredients one by one. Fold this mixture into the flour paste.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 60 minutes or until cooked (mine only took 40 minutes so just keep an eye on it so it doesn't over cook!). When the cake is done, it should be very moist but not runny and the outside edge should be crisp.