I was lying in bed half asleep, half awake when I was startled to consciousness by a vision that could only be described as a gift from the heavens… Mini Chocolate Pound cakes soaked in ginger syrup and topped with a white chocolate ganache (Wow! Was that a run-on sentence or what?).
The more I thought about this flavor combo, the more excited I got. And as luck would have it, I remembered that I already had little 3 ½” loaf/cake pans that I had bought over a year ago but never got around to using.
This was coming together. I was wound up. I could barely go back to sleep. I tried counting sheep but they would start turning into chocolate pound cakes jumping over a country wood fence in front of a stream of white chocolate ganache. Ahhh, they were so cute
The next morning I sprung out of bed, dashed over to the market, grab a knob of fresh ginger and sprinted back home to start my mad science experiment.
I was reasonably confident that I could develop the ginger syrup recipe on my own, but I knew I needed a jumping off point to for the cakes and ganache. I found what I was looking for in my often used cookbook, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I needed to make adjustments to the recipe.
The original recipe was for a classic standard sized pound cake (I cut the ingredients by half), I would need to add cocoa powder (so I reduced the amount of flour so that the final cake wouldn’t be too dry) and I needed to reduce the cooking time.
I am very happy with these cakes. The flavor profile came together almost exactly how I had imagined. The cakes themselves have a beautiful moist texture with a deep flavor from the cocoa powder.
The ginger syrup, with its spicy, almost peppery flavor adds a spike of unexpectedness that really works well with the earthiness of the cocoa.
And then there’s the white chocolate ganache. It’s white chocolate…what else can I say. 🙂
One last thing. To give the cakes an added layer of flavor (and visual texture), I topped the cakes with a sprinkle of chopped crystallized
ginger. This was my good friend Robert’s idea. And it was a stroke of genius on his part.
NOTE 1: You’ll have little more of the ginger syrup than you’ll need for the cakes. No worries. Mix a little of the syrup into a glass of club soda and you’ll have a fabulous homemade ginger root soda.
NOTE 2: I first tried spooning ginger syrup over the cakes. That didn’t work so well. The syrup didn’t absorb into the cakes – it just ran down the side. So, I decided to submerge instead the warm cakes upside down into syrup. That worked like a charm.
MINI CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE WITH GINGER SYRUP
- 4” piece of ginger
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Using the back of a spoon, gently rub the skin off of the ginger piece. Cut the ginger into a medium sized dice. Add ginger pieces and 1 ½ cups of water into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the water barely simmers. Continue simmering until water has reduced to about 1 cup in volume, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Pass liquid through a fine-mesh strainer to remove ginger pieces. Stir in sugar until it dissolves. Set aside.
MINI-CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 TSP kosher salt
- 4 TBL cocoa powder
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup of granulate sugar
- 1 TSP pure vanilla extract
- Three large eggs
- Special equipment: 3 ½” nonstick loaf pans
- Preheat a convection oven to 325⁰ (or 350⁰ on a traditional oven). Line nonstick mini-loaf pans with parchment paper and set aside (Alternatively, you can butter the loaf pans instead of using parchment paper). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder, set aside.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla on medium-low speed until the light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With the mixture on low speed, add flour mixture, beat until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into a prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Bake until cakes rise, turn rich brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool just until they can be handled.
- Makes six mini-loaf cakes
WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE CHOPPED GINGER GARNISH
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
- 3 TBL crystallized ginger
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz white chocolate, chips or finely chopped
- Finely chop crystallized ginger and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat bring cream to a full boil. Turn off heat. Add the white chocolate and swirl pan to completely cover it with the cream. Let stand about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk mixture until it is smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl, Let cool, stirring frequently.
- Ganache will thicken as it sits. To cover a cake, it should be pourable but still thick enough to coat. If not, place a bowl of ganache over a pan of simmering water and stir until it reaches the right consistency.
- Set ganache aside.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKES
- Pour warm ginger syrup into a medium sized bowl. One by one, place upside-down cakes into the ginger syrup and allow them to absorb a good deal of the liquid, about 3-5 minutes each. Repeat process with all cakes.
- Spoon white chocolate ganache over the ginger syrup-soaked cakes. Garnish with finely chopped crystallized ginger. Serve.