Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake with Nolen Gur
Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake is my adaption of classic Gingerbread Cake with a hint of very Indian Garam Masala and sweetened with Nolen Gur (Date Jaggery). The combination of ginger, spices and Nolen Gur is like a match made in heaven though fixed in my kitchen. The idea of an unusual marriage of spices in a cake was there in my mind from a long time and with a bottle of Nolen Gur in hand it finally came into the picture and we simply loving every bit of this creation.
Nolen Gur or the Kajur Gur as they say in Hindi is the jaggery that flavors Bengal’s winters, apart from its heavenly taste, the gooey yet slippery, finger-licking consistency of the gur elevates the experience of consuming it to a sinful level. A spoonful of it and I was reminded of dark sticky caramel or very fine quality molasses, and somehow after first tasting only fallen for this natural sweetener. The making of Nolen Gur is a time taking and tedious process, a community of skilled workers still make it in a traditional manner right before the auspicious Durga Puja and henceforth market is flooded with these light brown ordinary looking sugar balls.
One mundane day my friend dragged me to one of the Bengali restaurants, with no charm or fascination for the place I went along just to accompany her. It was 11:00 am in the morning while I was about to order the regular Aloo Poshto and Luchi a timid young lad came and asked if we like to try Nolen Gur ice cream, at first instance his question sound odd and was dropped on us out of the blue, but sometimes it is hard to dishearten somebody at such early hours of the day. Within a few minutes of our approval, he came back with two bowls full of Nolen Gur ice cream, it was for the first time I was starting my day with a scoop of ice cream. With much apprehension, I tasted one spoonful of it and that was my first introduction with Nolen Gur, which was definitely a memorable one.
By the end of the lunch the same lad packed some Nolen Gur for me with a heart warming smile, saying “meetha kuch banayega isse” (make some dessert out of it), like a precious treasure I stored it in my fridge for months looking for a recipe that can do justice to this Bengali delight. Christmas time, KitchenAid Blogger Contest and chilly weather I could only think of festive bake, so this is how Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake with Nolen Gur came into existence.
Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake Recipe
Yields 10 inch round cake
Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake is my adaption of classic Gingerbread Cake with a hint of very Indian Garam Masala and sweetened with Nolen Gur (Date Jaggery)
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Garam Masala (includes nutmeg and cinnamon)
120g butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup dark-brown sugar
1 cup Nolen Gur, melted or in liquid form
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 170 degree celsius for 10 minutes. Meanwhile grease one 10-inch cake pan with butter and line the base with parchment paper, set aside.
In a pan boil water along with grated ginger, boil for 5 minutes so that aroma of ginger is infused in water. Combine baking soda in water and set aside.
With electric beater cream butter until light and fluffy for about 3 – 4 minutes. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy. Add Nolen Gur and beat for another 2 – 3 minutes. Now add ginger infused boiled water and eggs. Make sure water has become lukewarm before adding else eggs will get poached.
Beat the liquid mixture for 5 minutes at medium speed.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, Garam Masala and baking powder. Add sifted dry ingredients to liquid mixture in three batches folding batter gently each time to combine.
Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes insert a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean, cake is ready else bake for 5 to 10 minutes more.
Let cool on a wire rack in the cake pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Cut into squares; dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serve Garam Masala Spiced Gingerbread Cake with whipped cream and black coffee.