Friday, October 21, 2011

Snappy Rhizome Cake

A rhizome is defined as a horizontal, usually underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Also called a root stalk.  One type of rhizome is ginger which is the main flavoring for this cake.

Ginger does have a very distinct flavor and I feel it is one of the stronger spices in my spice rack.  I was reading an inquiry about the taste of ginger. This spice would be one you have to taste for yourself, there is no proper description since it is so unique.  The replies on the inquiry were not so great-someone said that it tasted like soap and there was one weird reply saying it tasted like shame and self loathing.  Well Queen Elizabeth would not have been happy with that comment-history has it that she invented the "gingerbread man" cookies for gifts!

Anyhow, besides ginger, I have managed to squeeze in cinnamon chips, molasses and a few other spices.  The top is laden with orange segments and brown sugar.  This cake is moist and has a deep rich spicy flavor that does linger after eaten. I used regular molasses, but for those fans of the strong stuff, you are welcome to use "blackstrap" style.  Cream or ice cream on the side is a great pairing against the strong spices. 

Snappy Rhizome Cake
by flourtrader

2 oranges (separated into segments, seeds and membrane removed)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter melted

3/4 cup of buttermilk
3/4 cup molasses 
6 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda 
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups plus 1 tbs flour
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Pour the melted butter into a 10 inch cake or springform pan.  Sprinkle the inside of the pan with brown sugar.  Then lay the orange segments in a circular pattern (see picture above) on top of the brown sugar.  Set aside.

Sift together 2 cups of the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger.  Set this aside also.

Using an electric mixer, beat together molasses, egg, extract, butter and maple syrup until well blended.  This should take about 2 minutes.  Fold in half of the flour mixture.  Then mix in the buttermilk and fold in the remaining flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour with the cinnamon chips.  Then fold into the batter. Spoon out the batter into the pan, smoothing it evenly over the orange segments.

Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.  Remove pan and let cool for 5 minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a platter.

Cake tastes best served the next day slightly warmed up with a dollup of whipped cream or ice cream on the side.
                          **LAST YEAR: Teriyaki Pork Sliders**