Saturday, April 02, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sunshine in a Glass

Goose Island "Sophie" Belgian ale

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Best Ginger Cake

I just love this cake! This is the third time I've made it, and it was different each time. The first time I left out a ton of flour by misreading the recipe, and even tho the batter was a wet mess, it was still delicious! The second time I made it perfectly. This time I ran out of molasses and mixed spice, so I'd say it could have used 1/4C more molasses and 1/2 tsp more spice. Anyhoo, YOU JUST CAN'T RUIN THIS CAKE.

Fresh Ginger Cake (adapted from David Lebovitz)

approx. 1/2 C fresh grated ginger (use a microplane zester)
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 C mild molasses (Crosby's "fancy")
3/4 C canola oil
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp spice mix (cinnamon base + cloves, nutmeg, & cardamom (test by smell))
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
Optional:
1/3C walnut pieces, 1/4C finely chopped candied ginger
powdered sugar for decorating the top, and whipping cream
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch springform pan. 
  • Peel the ginger (use the tip of a spoon) and grate it finely with a microplane. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, molasses, and oil. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, spices, and salt. 
  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to the boil. Stir in the baking soda (it will foam up) and then whisk it into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • Add in the ginger and the flour mixture (plus walnuts and candied ginger if adding). Whisk just until no trace of flour remains. Break in the eggs one by one, whisking well between each addition.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 
  • TIP: cover the cake with foil at the half-way point to prevent over-browning. Make sure the foil is tented up in the centre, or the rising cake will stick to it.
  • Let the cake cool for 30 minutes, then run a knife around to loosen and remove the cake from the pan to cool completely.
  • Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Here is my previous attempt with the correct amount of molasses. Very different! Didn't rise as much, and more moist. I must have added a tad more flour in the third version, so err on less, not more flour (if you are a less-than-precise measurer like me). Taste and texture-wise (if not appearance-wise), this was the better cake.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

East Van walkin'

Alpen Club

The Alpen Club. 5 stars for it's cosy wreck room atmosphere and friendly service. We had the meatloaf sandwich and schnitzel with spƤtzle. Let's just say that it was the unchallenging comfort food we expected, and the price was right. It was quiet—no shouting across the table required. A very low key mix of ethnicities and ages. After the lunch crowd left, the old timer gents started trickling in and gathered at the bar. Not pictured is the one cute booth, which looks like a ship's galley.