Cocoa-Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache

It’s pretty much a rule that you should never make a recipe to share with others that you’ve not tried out beforehand. While this rule makes sense in most cases, if the recipe hails from one of Bryant Terry’s books, you can throw it out the window. Every single recipe I’ve ever made of his turns out beautifully, and every single one is something special and company-worthy. This cake was no exception. I made it to bring to a 4th of July party and it was a hit. Unique, decadent and fabulous.

The recipe is from Terry’s most recent book, Afro-Vegan:  Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed.  Like his previous books, this one is a delight, filled not only with sumptuous recipes and inspiring photos, but also music and book recommendations galore.  While I certainly recommend that you pick it up as soon as possible, in the meantime, you’re in luck… the author published this recipe on his facebook page, and I am sharing it here:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon fine raw cane sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup mashed ripe avocado, packed, about 1/2 medium avocado
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dark Jamaican rum
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) finely chopped crystallized ginger

5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk
5 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dark Jamaican rum (optional)
12 pieces thinly sliced crystallized ginger, for garnish

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides.

Whisk or sift the sugar, flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg into a large bowl and stir with a whisk until well blended.

Put the coconut milk, oil, avocado, rum, vinegar, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth (or put them in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth). Make a well in the center or the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients and the crystallized ginger. Fold together until uniformly mixed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Slide a butter knife around the edges, then invert the cake onto a rack and let cool to room temperature.

To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Put the coconut milk, sugar, and cayenne in a small saucepan and heat until steaming hot (avoid boiling), stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour over the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rum and whisk until completely smooth. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until slightly cooled but pourable, about 5 minutes.

To glaze the cake, pour the ganache evenly over the cake and let stand until the ganache is set, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 to 16 servings




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