Sunday, October 5, 2008

Iron Chef: Apples & Ginger

This VeganMoFo Iron Chef Challenge comes to you from Katie at Don't Eat Off The Sidewalk. I'm posting this a little late but there's a recipe in it so I've got to share that.

For this Iron Chef Challenge our ingredients were Apples and Ginger. Immediately I thought dessert and could not escape the allure. I asked my husband what he thought I should make (sometimes two heads are better than one, sometimes you want everyone to shut up, today I wanted ideas). After throwing out a few standard flavors, pie being the quickest to mind, he stopped and got this slightly excited look on his face.
"Make ginger cake"
Me: "Make a ginger cake, ok . . " It sounded kinda boring to me but I had forgotten, he's a brit, he didn't mean just any ol' ginger cake
Him: "Yeah ginger cake, my Nan used to love them. Ever heard of Lyons Ginger Cake? "
Me: "No . . . What was that brand name again?" Now I'm poised over my keyboard, cursor at the search bar.
After some searching around I kinda found what he meant. This wasn't just any ol' ginger cake indeed. This was a classic packaged cake. One that I had never had so I was going to have to try and make it and then rely on his sensory recollection for the flavor and texture.

For the cake a did a little searching for recipes for a jumping off point. I found one and it seemed easy enough to veganize. My version goes a little something like this:

Like Lyons Ginger Cake
2 Tb flax meal 6 Tb water
3/4 cup earth balance vegan margarine

3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup agave nectar 1 scant cup nondairy milk
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

2-3 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 300. Lightly spray loaf pan and line with baking parchment. Whisk together flax and water, set aside. In a saucepan melt the margarine with sugar and agave. Remove from heat and mix in milk then add in flax mixture and combine well. In a bowl mix together flour, ginger (use anywhere between 2-3 tsp depending on how strong you want your ginger flavor), baking powder and baking soda. Combine flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hr then cover the top with parchment (so top doesn't burn) and bake another 25 mins. The cake is done when tester (or knife) inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 mins in pan then turn onto rack to cool completely.

his cake may keep forever, you'll see what I mean when you slice into it. That's one dense cake. You get an idea on how this is pretty shelf stable.

So now I needed an apple component.
I used local Ananas Reinette Apples from Scottfarm in Dummerston for this delicious fall treat. Ananas Reinette, an old European variety that resembles a Granny Smith a bit which makes it great for baking or just eating, means royal pineapple for it's flavor has a slight pineapple twang to it.

Caramel Candy Apple Topping
4 Ananas Reinette apples (or 2 Granny Smiths)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 Tb water

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg

Slice or dice your apples, go for 1/4 inch thickness. Combine all the ingredients in a large heavy bottom skillet. Simmer this mixture over medium heat for 5-8 mins, you want the liquid to thicken to a syrup consistancy and the apples to get a little tender but not fall apart.
Serve this however you like. The cake is moist enough to eat on it's own if you want so fear not if you run out of topping, or just double to topping recipe.


Anonymous said...

Wow! This cake looks and sounds amazing! What an excellent entry!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

This sounds heavenly.

aTxVegn said...

Looks absolutely decadent! I love fresh apples and I sometimes forget how good they are baked too.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Um...yes, please!

sp said...

It looks amazing. This recipe I'll have to try. Thanks for sharing it.

Mandee said...

Yummo! Your cake looks delish, I like the idea of caramel and apples on top.

Sanja said...

It looks so good and decadent...

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Ooooh... lovely! Apples and caramel? Mmmmmmm

KZ said...

the perfect fall cake... enjoy!

Bethany said...

I love that combination. applecaramelisciousness! Perfect for VT this time of year. Fall is the best in VT.

Lindsay I-F said...

That looks so yummy!

Anonymous said...

When I look at that last picture I feel like being in a gourmet restaurant. Great job!

Karyn said...

Oooh. Like, can't even use my words. I'm too busy ooh-ing.

Debbie said...

That looks so good and fancy!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Great job with the IronMoFo! This looks so decadent.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Apples and ginger are perfect for dessert! Wish I could have a piece of that cake!

Amanda Trombley said...

oh so decadent looking! I can't wait to try this!