A while back, I watched an episode of Nigella’s at my table and she was made a crystallized cake. It looked so tantalizing that I wanted to make it the following Sunday for tea time. However crystallized is not something I have in my pantry, Actually I have never heard about it till I saw Nigella using ing.
Spar or any store in the area or the surrounding areas has never heard of it before. I tried the little bakeries that I knew and the old tannies behind the cash registers kept looking at me like I was talking a different language. So I gave up.
For the record I was going to buy it online, but my mother said way way wayyyyyy back in the day like before my time…. 5o odd years ago my granny used to by her crystallized ginger in town, I should try. But after driving and stopping and unbuckling and getting blank stares to trying to explain to people what it was, I gave up and bought it online.
Who every invented online, I would love to marry. So easy and with just the click of the button I can get any ingredient that isn’t available in South Africa delivered to my door. Okay the price is another thing all together. These ginger pieces were probably the same price as a gram of gold…. Don’t worry I am just being dramatic, because I know my mother will be reading this and let her think I have a shopping addiction. They were close to R200.00 for a 1kg but considering the exchange rate and customs duties are all included as well as courier fees I think my mother won’t faint or give me a lecture…. I hope!!!!!.
The original Nigella recipe contained eggs and as we all know, eggs are taboo in our household. Have no fear I can make homemade vegan eggs from scratch. I substituted vegan from the real egg and hey presto it came out perfect, soft moist and ever so tasty.
I will tell you, the last time, I tried to convert a Nigella recipe, something happened and the batter was thick and after baking it turned to stone, another one of my tricks I guess I can also turn things to stone.
My parents verdict… Mummy dearest loved it, although she said she would have loved it better without the icing, I mean seriously there was ONLY 100g of icing sugar in there and she still found it sweet. She ate the cake but left the icing… Women. My dad’s verdict, when I asked him if mum had given him a slice with his tea he said no, so I cut a huge slice only to take it to him and see him eating a slice already. When I threw a mini tantrum he said I showed you the plate on the way to the kitchen. As if I was watching him, but his take on the cake…mmm…mmm.. what am I eating again…. And then he was complaining how none of his jeans fit and how tight his golf shirts are around his middle… as if I am fattening him up. Maybe I am, maybe I not.
Ingredients for the batter:
- 200g x cake flour.
- 1 x tsp baking powder.
- ½ x tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- 2 x tsp ginger powder.
- ¼ x tsp salt.
- 175g x light brown sugar.
- 2 x vegan eggs ( 2 x tbsp. crushed flax seed mixed with 6 x tbsp. boiling water, mixed and left to stand for 15 minutes).
- 200ml x oil.
- 200g x carrots, peeled and grated.
- 100g x walnuts, roughly chopped.
- 75g x crystallized ginger, roughly chopped.
Method for the batter:
- In your mixer bowl, add the vegan egg, light brown sugar and oil. Whisk till everything is well combined.
- Sieve in the cake flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger powder and salt.
- Mix everything till well combined.
- Add the carrots and mix.
- Add in the nuts and ginger pieces and mix so that everything is nicely incorporated.
- Pour into a greased 20cm round cake tin.
- Pop into a preheated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the cake pan, before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.
Ingredients for the icing:
- 100g x room temperature butter.
- 100g x sieved icing sugar.
- 1 x tsp corn flour.
- 100g x room temperature cream cheese.
- 1 x tbsp. grated fresh ginger.
Method for the icing:
- Cream butter till light and fluffy.
- Add the icing sugar and corn flour and beat till the mixture comes together.
- Add in the grated ginger and mix.
- To decorate the cake, generously dollop the icing onto the top of the cake and using an offset spatula evenly spread the icing. Garnish with chopped walnuts and crystallized ginger.
- Pop into the fridge to chill for 5 minutes before serving.