Two weeks of food

11 Mar

I made great food last weekend and forgot to tell you about it! So now you’re getting this week’s and last week’s. Two-for-one, if you will.

Today I made a fresh ginger cake. I’ve been learning a lot about ginger and the health benefits of it, particularly for the digestive system. (And by “learning about”, I mean “talking to my friend SR who knows all that stuff”.) So I was craving a gingerbread cookie or cake. I found this recipe, which was intriguing because it uses fresh ginger instead of ground ginger. Hmm.

First, I mixed the dry ingredients together and set them aside.

Then I mixed the molasses, oil, and sugar together.

Next I peeled and chopped a whole bunch of fresh ginger. (On an unrelated note, did you know that fresh ginger has juices in it? And those juices can hurt if it gets into your eye?)

The recipe was for a 9″ cake pan, but I split the batter into 4 mini-loaf pans instead and baked them.

After they cooled, I added a smear of cream cheese frosting, and now I have to-die-for yumminess!


Fresh Ginger Cake (from

2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup packed fresh ginger (about one 5-inch piece)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9″ cake pan with butter and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together then molasses, oil, and sugar until smooth.

In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the baking soda, then whisk in the molasses mixture until combined; remove from heat. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the ginger into the molasses mixture.

Whisk in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until just combined. Using the rubber spatula, stir in the eggs until just combined. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Place on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and remove cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed, until very smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and mix well.

Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get the desired sweetness and thickness.

Fig Swirls (from Janae Monir)


1.25 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup packed soft dried Mission figs (8 oz), hard tips trimmed and discarded
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.

Pulse butter, cream cheese, yolk, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth, then add flour mixture and pulse just until the dough forms a ball.

Halve dough and pat each half into a rectangle. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1.5 hours.

In a food processor, puree figs, honey, juice, zest, and cinnamon until almost smooth; keep in fridge until ready to use.

Roll out one piece of dough between two sheets of wax paper into a 10×8 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Remove top sheet of wax paper and gently spread half of the fig mixture evenly over surface of dough, leaving 1/4″ border on one long side. using the wax paper as an aid, roll up dough, enclosing fig mixture and ending with the seam side down. Repeat process with the other log. Chill logs, wrapped in wax paper or plastic, until firm, at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices and arrange about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until pastry is pale golden, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Key West Chicken

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon minced garlic
16 oz chicken

Combine all ingredients in Ziploc bag. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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