July 21, 2004
wait until tomorrow...
Tuesday, July 20
This morning, as has been often the case, I baked some cakes for breakfast/brunch. It was this recipe that I used this time; fresh ginger muffins!
I love ginger, or I can almost say that I am addicted to it - both in cooking and baking (and even in fragrance). Japanese and Chinese dishes employ ginger a lot, and I usually like them very much; as for sweets, I like ginger snap cookies, ginger cake, pain d'epices, ginger shortbread (has anyone tried Duchy Originals' ginger biscuits?), ginger ice cream, Chai, just to name a few.
I still recall the very first time when I encountered "sweetened ginger" in a cookbook. I must have been 9 or 10 years old and I was absorbed in a new cookbook that my mom had just bought (which is now in my possession). In that cookbook, there was a recipe for crystallized ginger, and my first reaction was: ugh, ginger in sugar? no way....
Years later, I came to know about a lot more ginger sweets, and like them all. To be specific, I prefer fresh ginger to ginger powder, and crystallized ginger falls into somewhere in the middle.
So, ginger muffins. Since I have an already long list of things that I want to make, just another ordinary ginger cake wouldn't come up to be a priority. But this one was using fresh ginger instead of dried powder, and it is a lot! Even better, it uses lemon zest as well... ginger and lemon, both are among my most favorite ingredients.
The recipe was a kind of complicated - or so I thought, at least so for a muffin recipe. It might probably have been because I grated a whole ginger instead of using a food processor (I don't have one). Making the batter wasn't a big deal, but since I made it in full rather than reducing everything in half like I would usually do, I ended up having a LOT of batter in a bowl.
As I might have mentioned before, I don't have a muffin pan at hand, I used small cake pans instead of paper cups. So mine weren't really muffins any more - so I should call them ginger cakes.
The cakes taken out of oven looked good. I let them cool for a while and cut a slice for myself. As I sunk my teeth into it, the strong ginger flavor... didn't come out. Nor I tasted lemon much, either. What? C'mon, look how much ginger and lemon I used, I asked myself... but the cake didn't have much taste of ginger, unfortunately. They tasted fairly good, but not as gingery as I had anticipated. Too bad, those were good but I won't probably make this again, I thought.
Well, that wasn't the end of the story. Later in the afternoon I had another slice and noticed that it tasted better; it often happens that certain kinds of cakes taste better after let stand overnight or so - and this cake might be one of them, I suspected.
The following day, the cakes showed their real ability; the flavor of ginger was now ever so strong and the cake was rightly moist... the difference was eminent. I don't know if they were at their best overnight, though; they were all gone before they are given a chance to prove that they might actually taste better in two days!
posted by chika at: 7/21/2004 11:45:00 PM