Sunday Magazine Recipe: Feijoa, Molasses and Ginger cake

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I'll be honest, this is quite a divisive cake and it will likely not be the recipe you choose to make for a kids' birthday party! It's unusual in both flavour and appearance, and in my opinion a really sophisticated cake that pairs beautifully with a black coffee. Molasses is definitely an acquired taste, but I love its burnt bitterness and the way it harmonises with the tart feijoas and warming ginger in this recipe. If you're not a fan, you could use maple syrup or honey.

Feijoa, Molasses and Ginger cake

Serves 12

For the cake
200g butter, softened
150g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
4 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g spelt or regular flour
150g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
8 feijoas, cut in half and flesh scooped out
4 cubes crystallised ginger, finely diced 

Ginger mascarpone icing
250g mascarpone
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp molasses

Ginger cookie shards
50g butter, softened
50g soft brown sugar
1 small free range egg
2 tbsp molasses
100g spelt or regular flour
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger

If you don't love molasses, swap it for honey or maple syrup.

First, make the cookie shards. 

Preheat oven to 170C degrees fan bake. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter on high speed until light, pale and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the molasses and mix until incorporated. In two parts, add the flour to the mixture and mix until just combined. Finally, add the baking soda and ginger. 

Spread the dough out onto the baking tray, about 1cm thick, and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the sheet of cookie has gone golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.

Next make the cake. Line a 22cm cake tin.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and molasses until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla. Gradually fold in the flour, ground almonds and ground ginger.

Pour the batter into the cake tin and spread out to the sides. Evenly dot in the feijoa flesh and crystallised ginger, and press down lightly.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cake is ready when it is golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

Allow the cake to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, make the mascarpone icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and ginger together until a smooth, glossy consistency is reached. Fold through the molasses at the end, leaving some visible ripples. Once the cake is fully cool, apply a neat layer of the icing.

Using a knife, cut the sheet of ginger cookie into shards, and decorate the cake with them. Store what you don't use in an airtight container or cookie jar for up to 2 weeks.

Serve at room temperature.

Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Photography: James Lowe

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