Monday, December 3, 2012

Tamarind Ginger Spice Cake

Amazing cake but we'll get to that in a minute.

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.

 "Make more."

Alrighty then.

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

Lime Glaze

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.

Place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) in the bowl of your mixer and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and half the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the egg mixture gradually, in 2 additions beating about 30 seconds after each add in. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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.

Cook's Notes:
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.


  1. This is amazing--I would've never thought to add chutney to this but it makes so much sense---great looking loaf!!

  2. LOL hubby and I have the exact same perspective on the red light. He thinks that we can go for ages but I'm off to the petrol station straight away! This cake looks divine-I like the use of tamarind and ginger :D

  3. hahahaha on ur caveman dad :)

  4. Lindo y muy bien hecho me encanta una verdadera delicia,abrazos y abrazos.

  5. That is such a hilarious story :) My husband is the same way....the light will be on but he always says that really there are 3 or 4 hidden drives me nuts...I can't even look at that light while we drive b/c it freaks me out....but this cake looks so the combination of flavours!

  6. Your dad, my husband the same.
    Your husband, my husband,....similar.
    You and I = are one, that cake looks fantastic!

  7. LOL!!!! You really had me in stitches there! :)
    Aren't most men the same? My husband always tells me there's enough gas to get to the next state even when the indicator is real low ... yeah, right.
    Thanks for coming over to my blog and for the comment. You have some great pics and posts here. Don't mind me while I poke around :)

    1. Ping it's lovely to have you on board. Enough to get to the next state! Wow our husbands are related.

  8. This sounds like a very interesting cake recipe. I never used tamarind in cake before! And seriously men will always be men and unplanned :) Loved your dad's reaction!

  9. make more--so succinct, i love it! i don't think i've ever tasted tamarind, but that cake sounds marvelous. i especially like the glaze!

  10. ROTFL! Oh my, thanks for sharing this story, at least now i know its not just a problem with MY hubby, but possibly half the male population, thank goodness! Love your writing, humour and gorgeos photos, will be dropping by more often :) thanks for leaving at comment at my blog.

  11. Hahahaha... O i had a good laugh about your story and how utterly annoying to be left by the side of the road and then get such a response. Good thing you're still happily married though! :) and that cake.. It looks amazing but for some weird reason I was expecting it to be savory. Don't ask me why; it's the salmonny color that does it probably. But it sounds great with the tamarind. I think I'm gonna have to try it...

  12. Love the rant. Men! Sometimes they just don't get it, the sweethearts.
    Anyway, the cake looks marvelous. Don't think I have ever tasted tamarind.

  13. THIS SOUNDS SO YUMMY!!!!!!!! Your dad is quite a character!!!! he reminds me of one of my friends
    Much love
    Chari T (deep fried stilettos)

  14. My word, is that one stunning cake! Tamarind is an ingredient I'm not particularly familiar with though... I may have eaten it in other dishes, but I've never even tasted it solo. I just don't know where to begin. Well, I suppose I do now- With this recipe!

    1. Hannah,
      Tamarind is a great flavour enhancer. You can try it in stews as well.

  15. I am not going to tell you how this - Nah man, my car never shut down on me before when the red light was on - made me laugh. Just in case I can't get any cake. Oh boy, that cake has me LUSTING, I want cake with milky tea soooo bad now.

    1. :- ) I can laugh now but trust me at the time we were NOT amused.

  16. Ginger, tamarind and lime! Girl this is a fusion of the Caribbean's finest ingredients. I just might even throw a little coconut in there. Great recipe!

  17. I love your Dad's response to your cooking... This seems to be an interesting cake. I reckon it is very Caribbean-stye!

    Nice to know you via blogging. Happy to follow your blog :D

  18. it looks sweet and perfectly rich and moist. I love the vibrant color. Great job my friend

  19. Great post and love the colours of the top of the cake - looks wonderful!

  20. This is a cake I have to try, tamarind and ginger....perfect. I am a little obsessed with these to flavours present but mainly on Savoury so here I go to the kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration.