First a mini rant at the spouse who absolutely is NOT deserving of ANY cake at this point.
Some time last week, my husband was away from work and I had to use his car to drop our children to school.
Note to self: Self, never borrow your man's car without first checking for gas.
Children safely transported, I was on my way to work, tunes happily cranked up way loud, and vibesing along with my boy Bunji. There I was singing along to this and thinking how glorious it was to be travelling in the opposite direction of morning rush hour traffic when I noticed that the gas indicator light was on. No worries because there are like five service stations between me and my place of employment. No need to flip out, right?
Just my bad luck there was a power outage that morning which meant no working pumps at any of those five gas stations. The car eventually ran out of gas...
Yes this has happened to me with this car before. Therefore I was seriously annoyed at myself for allowing it to happen a second time. While waiting to be 'rescued' by my dad and brother, I texted the hubby.
Me: Bloody hell! You have no gas!
DH: What! No way, is the red light on?
*Because to a guy the red light means you still have a lot of gas left.
Me: Yes the red light was on but now it isn't cause I am shut down at the side of the road.
DH: Nah man, my car never shut down on me before when the red light was on.
Me: Rendered speechless by the absurdity of that response. I chose not to reply and I am happy to report we are still happily married today.
Okay now back to cake.
There is nothing I love more that using a familiar ingredient in an unexpected way. When I saw this recipe over on Anh's food blog, it immediately jumped to the top of my "Recipes to Try" list.
Tamarind is already a star ingredient in many of my savory dishes and I was intrigued by the idea of it in cake.
This cake is rich and moist, with a tender crumb. Here is what one of my taste testers at work said about it. "There was a flavour I could not put my finger on .....but it was good with a spicy warmth from the ginger and a hint of pepper"
You don't actually taste the tamarind but you know it's there by the extra kick of flavour it brings. This was definitely a hit with my father who is not usually effusive about food. He never makes a comment beyond, 'Its good," or "It's not good." to describe any dish. To him something either is or it isn't.
He had a slice of this and said nothing. Later he had another slice, but still no comment.
I was concerned. Two slices might mean it was good but why hadn't he said anything?
The next day I had my answer. Dad came home and placed a bag of crystallized ginger on the kitchen and said two words.
Tamarind Ginger Spice Cake
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Matouks Tamarind Chutney
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
13 tablespoons butter (185 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9x5x3inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ginger, tamarind chutney and vanilla extract.
This is essentially a pound cake recipe albeit a slightly different method from a traditional pound cake. It is quite normal for there to be a crack down the center of this cake.
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This cake can be covered and stored for several days at room temperature or one week when refrigerated.
Make the lime glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lime juice. Stir unil you have a consistency that you like. Adjust consistency with extra lime juice or icing sugar as you wish. Cover cake with glaze.
Matouk's is a Trinidadian brand of condiments that is well known throughout the Caribbean. It is available from various online sources but should you have trouble finding it you could easily make your own tamarind chutney.