ginger fluff

This is the story of my nemesis, the ginger fluff cake from Flour and Stone. I made the cake batter, carefully greased and floured the bundt tin I use all the time and when the cake was baked it refused to come out of the tin. I gently teased it out with a knife and in the end the cake came out in a number of pieces. The cake tasted lovely but I couldn't serve it as it was. I was about to spend the weekend with my brother and had planned to take the cake with me instead arriving empty handed. Sorry Andrew.

I don't like to be defeated so I decided to make the cake again this time using my vintage star pan. I carefully greased and floured the tin and as the base was lined with a piece of parchment I was sure I wouldn't have any problems unmoulding the cake from the tin. Not so.

In the end the cake needed a knife, a bit of gentle manoeuvering and 10 minutes resting upside down before it would release. I blame the golden syrup in the recipe for welding the cake batter to the tin. If you'd like to make your life easier I would just bake the cake in a parchment lined round tin and forget the whole bundt tin. However the end result is very pretty.

Here's the recipe for you with detailed instructions which are almost word for word from the Flour and Stone cookbook. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. As this was my second attempt, I adapted the recipe a little by reducing the sugar a little and also the quantity of cocoa nibs.

Ginger Fluff – Flour and Stone
30g cornflour
17g self-raising flour
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp ginger
7 g unsalted butter
2 tsp golden syrup
2 eggs, separated 
60 g caster sugar
8 g cocoa nibs

75g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
50 mls cream

To decorate
¼ cup freeze dried raspberries, some crushed and some left whole
10 g cocoa nibs

Preheat oven to 190°C and grease and flour a small bundt tin. I tend to use softened butter and brush it on the inside of the tin with a pastry brush, then dust the inside of the tin with flour, tapping out any excess so you are left with only a thin coating. Sift the flours and spices three times to aerate the flour and evenly distribute the spices.

Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Place the egg whites with a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar a little at a time continuing to whip until the egg whites have formed stiff peaks. Remove the bowl from the machine. Using a spatula fold through the egg yolks followed by the flour and spices, sifting them into the bowl in 2 batches. When I fold dry ingredients into eggs I sift them directly into the eggs rather than sifting them into a bowl and tipping them in. This stops any lumps from forming and you can shower a thin film of flour over the top of the meringue; it’s lighter and won’t sink to the bottom until you fold it through, giving you more control too. Once you see that almost all the flour has been incorporated, trickle in the butter and syrup and cocoa nibs and then fold them through until well incorporated. It is better to start folding the butter through when there are still streaks of uneven colour in the sponge as those final few turns will fold in any residual flour and the butter at the same time. Fewer turns means a fluffier sponge.

Stop folding the second you see that the colour of the sponge is even, with no streaks. Pour the sponge into the prepared tin and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cake bounces back when pressed with your finger. Listen to the sponge. A perfect sponge will hiss with a little moisture when you press it, telling you it’s time to take it out of the oven.

Remove the sponge from the oven and immediately tip it out onto a wire rack. Ginger fluff is delicate like chiffon and if you leave it in the tin to cool it will become a little concave.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and gently stir them together using a spatula. If you stir only from the middle in a tiny turning circle your ganache won’t get any bubbles in it. It will seem like the cream will never be drawn into the middle, but be patient and eventually it will make its way to the centre and a shiny bubble-free ganache will be yours.

To decorate
Once the sponge has cooled, use a large spoon or ladle to pour the ganache over the top so that it drizzles all over the cake and down the sides. While the ganache is still runny, press the freeze-dried raspberries and cocoa nibs into the surface of the icing.

Serve on the day it is baked or keep it at room temperature overnight to serve the next day. This cake has sat under a cloche on our kitchen counter for a week and it’s still good many days later provided it is covered.

I took the cake into work and it received rave review - light and airy, not too sweet and every-one loved the milk chocolate ganache. Maybe I'll have to tackle that dreaded bundt tin once again.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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