We Should Cocoa February challenge, which is to use the marvellous combination of chocolate and ginger together. This is a combination that's hard to beat in any form. Christmas isn't the same without a box of fiery, sweet crystallised ginger, covered in a bitter dark chocolate, and a touch of cocoa, or a few chunks of chocolate, will improve most gingerbread cakes. Conversely, a rich chocolate torte flavoured with ginger is bliss too. Like Jen, of Blue Kitchen Bakes, this month's We Should Cocoa host, I'm slightly surprised this combination hasn't come up before, but I'm really pleased it has now!
This recipe, from Dan's Guardian column, uses a lot of chocolate and quite a lot of glacé ginger to flavour the cake. The cake batter itself has the merest hint of ginger, so that most of the flavour comes from chewing the lumps in the cake. This cake has a dense, moist crumb, aided by the addition of both ground almonds and cream cheese. It baked well too, to give an even tender crumb.
I wanted this to be an everyday cake, so didn't add any frosting, and the cake was so rich, moist and well-flavoured that I don't think it suffered because of this. "The icing on the cake" really isn't a necessity here! I followed Dan's advice to use a bitter chocolate and used a mix of the remaining 75g of Willie's chef's drops, cut in half, which are really bitter to eat, and 50g of a 74% eating chocolate.
The We Should Cocoa challenge (rules here) is a monthly challenge started by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog, and Chele of Chocolate Teapot. It's been running for around 2 1/2 years now, and each month's new theme for combinig chocolate and a special ingredient is often chosen by a guest host, as has happened this month. Look for a round-up of entries on Blue Kitchen Bakes at the end of this month.