Tag Archives: ginger

Ginger Tea Cake

A couple of years ago when I first began my foray into grain-free baking, I made this ginger cake.  And it was good.  Since the Englishman and I have a tradition of making cakes for each other on our birthdays, I decided to make it again.  But then I read Molly Wizenberg’s ginger cake recipe with caramelized pears in her book, A Homemade Life, and decided to create my own version of a ginger tea cake with pears. If you are not really into baking, you can go to your favorite bakery and get it customized, get started now!

Ginger Tea Cake Slices Can we talk about Molly Wizenberg for a second?  I read her second book, Delancey, on our flight home from Hawaii and as soon as I finished I turned to my husband and declared that I wanted to eat pizza, move to Seattle, and open our own pizzeria.  His reaction was a bit of shock and amusement and agreed to the eat pizza part, but wasn’t too sold on opening our own pizzeria.  In all seriousness, if you haven’t read Molly’s books yet just do it.  They are full of great recipes and will leave you hungry and wanting more.  And now I’ll stop fangirling about Molly Wizenberg.

So back to the ginger tea cake.  I call it a tea cake because it’s a bit lighter and isn’t overly sweet and would be the perfect thing to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.  And since I am married to someone who is English, I knew he would appreciate the tea cake gesture.

Ginger Tea Cake Candied GingerThis cake is sweetened with some candied ginger I got in the bulk bins at Sprouts and a couple of tablespoons of honey.  The Englishman is a huge molasses fan, so the molasses gives this cake its rich dark color.

Instead of using all-purpose flour I used spelt because I love the nutty taste spelt adds to baked goods.  If you haven’t baked with spelt yet I highly recommend it!

For the pears, I poached them instead of caramelizing them in a small sauce pan with whiskey, butter, cinnamon and a touch of sugar and they were still delicious.  I think next time I will try the caramelized version Molly has on her blog.

Ginger Tea Cake Poached PearsThis is by no means a “traditional birthday cake,” but the Englishman still loved it and so will you!

Ginger Tea Cake (adapted from Orangette)

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup spelt flour

1 egg

4 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp honey

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped (fresh ginger would work too!)

1/4 cup molasses

2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

For the Pears:

1/4 cup dry Irish Whiskey (I used Red Breast)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp butter

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp water


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a cake pan with parchment paper.

Chop your candied ginger into small pieces and set aside.

Ginger Tea Cake Chopped GingerIn a small mixing bowl, add your spelt flour, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

Melt your butter and add to a larger mixing bowl.  Add your molasses, egg, honey, almond milk and vanilla and mix well.  Gently fold in your dry ingredients and continue to mix.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but a little elbow grease and a wooden spoon will also do the trick.

Add your chopped ginger and continue to mix until the ginger pieces are well combined.  Pour your cake batter into your pan and place in the oven.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the cake is firm in the center.

While your cake is baking, cut your pears into thin slices and add to a saucepan along with your whiskey, cinnamon, butter, water and sugar.  Place over low heat and let the pears simmer until they are nice and soft.

Remove your cake from the oven and cut into slices.  Add your poached pears on top.

Ginger Tea Cake with Poached PearsThe pears complemented the cake perfectly and the ginger flavor was spot on.  Of course this cake tastes just as good without the pears, and really is the perfect ginger tea cake.

Ginger Tea Cake SlicesThanks to Molly for bringing this lovely recipe into my life.  I’m thinking that ginger tea cake is going to be a regular thing in my house from now on.

Back to Basics at True Food Kitchen

I’ve had my eye on True Food Kitchen since it opened last year, and with a beautiful spring day on the horizon and nothing else on the agenda, I knew it was time for True Food Kitchen and I to formally meet.

True Food Kitchen is an all-green, organic restaurant that uses simple, fresh ingredients in all of their dishes.  Most items on the menu have anywhere from 3-7 ingredients TOTAL and complement each other quite nicely.  The menu is inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid (which you can see here), and proves once and for all that eating healthy does not mean sacrificing flavor.

One of the things I loved most about True Food Kitchen was the bright and airy space.  There’s an outdoor patio that is partially covered/uncovered, a large bar area, a private dining room, and plenty of seating within the restaurant.  Since it was a beautiful day out, I opted to sit on the patio.

True Food Kitchen Patio - LOVED the green chairs

Now let’s talk about the good stuff.  The Food.  As a food allergy sufferer, these types of restaurants with simple basic ingredients are my mecca.  I know exactly what I’m ingesting and don’t have to worry about any allergy after-effects.  I started my meal off with a drink called “The Natural,”  made with agave, ginger, and soda water.

The Natural aka my newest obsession

I normally don’t rave much about drinks (well not nonalcoholic ones anyway), but this drink was superb.  Light, fizzy, refreshing, with that added ginger zing.  It’s the perfect drink on a warm day and I couldn’t get enough.  I even tried to re-create the drink later that weekend at home but it was more of a Ginger Drink FAIL than anything.  I think I need to work on my ginger to soda water ratio…

I wasn’t starving when I arrived at True Food Kitchen, so I kept it simple with the hummus and fresh pita and the turkey burger.  The hummus had some herbs in it which gave it nice flavor, and the pita was warm and delicious (and whole wheat!)

Who doesn't love delicious pita and hummus?

The turkey burger came with provolone cheese, avocado, tomato and a site of sweet potato hash and kale salad.  While the burger was perfectly cooked it seemed to be missing something.  Maybe some herbs or a little spice?  I was still drooling over the hummus when the burger arrived so perhaps I was already slightly biased.  I do think I’d like to try a few other things on the menu before venturing back to the turkey burger, but it is a good choice for someone who doesn’t want a lot of spice with their food.

The turkey burger is blocking the amazingness that is the kale salad

The Kale salad however was pretty epic, and the simplest ingredients ever!  Just kale, lemon, breadcrumbs.  I don’t know what they did to this salad but I gobbled it down.  The sweet potato hash was also pretty decent, but then again I’ll eat anything  involving sweet potatoes.

Overall I was very impressed with True Food Kitchen.  I’m definitely planning on coming back and trying more of the menu (and of course getting another “Natural” drink).  It’s the perfect spot for when you are looking for something that is delicious and nutritious, and equally satisfying.  Oh and it’s just minutes away from the beach – can’t beat that.

True Food Kitchen

451 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
P: 949.644.2400