One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and ginger. Years ago my friend Madalyn served a chocolate chip gingerbread that I loved, but I guess I lost the recipe at some point. I found a substitute online, and I started baking it as a bundt cake, but it’s often a problem….
No matter how thick the batter, the chocolate chips like to sink through it as the cake bakes, and they may all end up on the bottom of the cake and maybe even burn. 😦 To prevent this Madalyn used to put the batter in the 9×12 baking dish and sprinkle the chips on just before putting it in the oven.
If you want to try this cake you can also find a recipe online. I will tell you some things I have learned from my many experiments:
1. Don’t use silicone bakeware. I was given a set of this once, and the silicone bundt pan was the worst for burning on the bottom, which becomes the top when you turn the cake out, and has to be sliced off before glazing or frosting.
2. The recipe online doesn’t have enough ginger for me. I tripled the powdered ginger and added some fresh grated ginger as well.
3. I thought a little more butter would be better – of course! – so I used a whole cup, instead of 3/4 cup. I don’t see the purpose of whipping the room-temperature butter with the sugar, etc. if you are going to melt it all by adding hot water shortly, so I might combine some steps. To get a thicker batter I should use less hot water.
4. The recipe has more sugar than is optimal. I used one cup and that made a cake that was plenty sweet.
5. If you want a black cake such as I made this time, use the Fair Trade Black Cocoa Powder sold by Frontier. I think it has a very odd flavor, not like chocolate at all and more like chili powder, but I had it on hand, and its flavor goes okay with all the spices that are in this recipe. I regret buying it, however!
6. My next experiment will be to make this recipe as cupcakes; I will try to make a thick batter so that the chocolate chips I sprinkle on at the last minute might not sink all the way to the bottom. If I could find some small and extra-dark chocolate chips it would be helpful; the Ghirardelli 60% cacao are very big and that no doubt causes them to sink through the batter faster.
7. If I perfect the recipe I will post my Best Version. And if any of my readers already bake a similar cake, I’d love to hear about it.
My cake was rather mangled by the time I got it out of the bundt pan where so many of the chips were burnt and encrusted on the bottom. But it didn’t fall apart. I was able to slice it and put a large dollop of whipped cream on top of each serving, and everyone thought it was a gastronomic success.