Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup light coconut milk
4 large egg whites
3 large egg whites
Dash of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, lightly coat 2 (9-inch) cake pans with cooking spray.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.
Place butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ginger in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Place 4 egg whites in a large, clean bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, place 3 egg whites and dash of salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg white mixture, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with marmalade and 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle top of cake with toasted coconut. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
I was not 100% pleased with this cake for many reasons: 1) The texture was very dense in spite of the folded in egg whites; 2) The cake layers were far too thin and should definitely have been baked in 8" instead of 9" pans; 3) The concentration of fresh ginger in the cake is so strong that it's almost spicy and overwhelming, you don't even taste the eensy bit of marmalade between the layers; and lastly 4) The overall taste is too sweet and lacking that distinctive molasses flavor that I like in gingerbread. If I'm ever in the mood to experiment, I'd make this cake again and try to take out some sugar, add more molasses and tone down the ginger and maybe add more cinnamon. It was a pretty presentation, though, for Christmas Dinner.
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