from one generation to the next
This is not the first recipe for spicy gingerbread cake that I have shared. The first was my Grandma’s recipe, a cake that I used to make regularly because it was simple, cheap and stayed moist for weeks in an airtight container. Sadly I can no longer enjoy Grandma’s traditional cake because wheat plays havoc with my gut, but I have found THE perfect substitute within the pages of one of my Christmas presents, “Flavor Flours” by Alice Medrich.
Made with brown rice and buckwheat flours strengthened with xantham gum, the remainder of the ingredients are old school, molasses, ground spices, brown sugar, butter, egg with the surprise inclusion of fresh ginger root.
I found the recipe a tad confusing initially because of the difference between recipes written for the American market with a focus on measurements in cups, and my penchant to weigh in grams for accuracy. Instructions for both are included however, so once I had weighed the ingredients, making the batter was straightforward. Medrich recommended a 20cm round pan, I opted to make a loaf for ease of storage. Next time I’ll lower the oven temperature to minimise the cracking on the top of the cake, but that’s a small criticism, the cake was astonishingly good.
Deep, dense, spicy and moist, the moreish flavour temptingly lingered on my palate. I defy the uninformed to identify this cake as gluten free.
This buckwheat gingerbread recipe is from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich
Buckwheat Gingerbread Cake.
110g brown rice flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Scant 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
30g peeled fresh root ginger, finely chopped
140g brown sugar
115g unsalted butter*, melted and still warm
1 large egg
110g buckwheat flour
1/2 cup hot water
Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced. Grease a large loaf tin and line with baking paper.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the rice flour, xantham gum, spices and soda. Set side.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the brown sugar and ginger together into a thick smooth puree.
Add the molasses, warm butter, lightly beaten egg and the flour mix. Process for 20 seconds.
Scrape down the inside of the jug then add the buckwheat flour and hot water. Process only for 5 seconds more.** Finish mixing the dough with a spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake 30-35 minutes, until cooked in the centre when tested with a skewer.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minute, then remove to a wire cake stand to cool.
Dust with pure icing sugar just before serving.
*Substitute margarine for butter if you are lactose intolerant.
**Medrich advises that overprocessing buckwheat flour can lead to a pasty texture.