Pound Cake with Orange, Allspice and Ginger

Unusual, quite sophisticated configuration of textures and flavours.  Took me a while to gather enough courage – the challenge came, as often for me, from the Guardian; i had to understand, interpret, adjust – but Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recommendation is, as always, sound and interesting.

My first attempt was a bit flat – not enough baking powder, perhapsbut the taste did not fail the high expectationsQuantities below should make one 22cm dia cake (my spring form claims it is 24 cm/9 inch in diameter, which in itself is funny – and it makes 22 dia cake.. go figure..)

  • 225g flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground allspice
  • 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 80g stem ginger, chopped
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Finely grated zest of 2 sizable oranges

For the syrup

  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp syrup from the ginger jar –or some other suitable sweet stuff –
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Grease a loose-bottomed cake form (I used a spring form), line with baking parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  3. Sift the flour, ginger, baking powder and allspice into a bowl.
  4. In a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. (If it looks as if it’s going to curdle, add a tablespoon of flour with the last egg.)
  6. Gently fold in the rest of the flour, then stir in the stem ginger, orange juice and orange zest.
  7. Spoon into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, until risen and golden, and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small pan, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, ginger syrup and pinch of allspice. Warm through and let it steam gently for five minutes.
  9. When you take the cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and trickle the syrup over the top. Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  10. Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, then remove and leave on a rack to cool completely
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