ginger carob cake.

All year long I drink hot water with a few slices of fresh ginger in it, as a cleansing tonic to help with digestion and a cure-all for various ailments.  However, it is only when the winter holidays roll around do I seem to think of making gingerbread.  Its dark, moist, spicy and complex flavour seems best suited to cold days with friends’ laughter for warmth.  Previous years have seen various reincarnations, and this year I continue to vary on the theme.  The only consistency with the past is that I base the result on a Nigella Lawson recipe, because she is apparently a domestic, ginger-loving-cake-making goddess.

For 2013, the gingerbread has been cake-ified, if only because it was baked in a round cake tin (because circles = harmony, which is an important theme during the holidays, if not for life), and also vegan-ified, because I keep the company of very lovely vegans.  Moreover, it has gotten a facelift with a liberal studding of carob chips, because little melty morsels lend a light-hearted, convivial quality to any foodstuff, and carob has an intriguing, nutty, deep flavour that integrates well with ginger and molasses.

Ginger Carob Cake
makes one 8″ round cake

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp dried ginger
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flax
3/4 cup water
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp sunflower oil
8 tbsp fancy molasses
a good handful of carob chips

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, brown sugar and flax.  In quick succession, add the water, vinegar, oil and molasses.  Mix until just incorporated.  Fold in a good heap of carob chips.  Scrape into an 8″ round cake tin that has been lined with parchment paper.  Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 45-60 minutes, until the top looks dry.  In previous years I stuck a toothpick into the middle of the cake to see if it was cooked via how dry the toothpick came out, but this year I didn’t bother, because I’m starting to think that a slightly gooey center in a ginger cake is a good thing.

Serve forth a slice of gingery harmony to your loves.

ginger carob cake

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