It had been three weeks, six hours, and seventeen minutes since I last made a trip to Berkeley Bowl. Those days were long and grueling; I thought I would never make it. But when my mother decided to graciously drop me back to Berkeley after spring break so that I didn't have to take BART, I knew that meant grocery shopping. And that meant the Bowl.
So, I wasn't actually counting down from my last Berkeley Bowl expedition, but it had definitely been a long time, and my fridge was in desperate need of being restocked. The advent of spring meant fresh new produce and a slew of recipes to try out, including a ginger cake one I clipped from the SF Chronicle that same day. With my recipe in hand, I loaded up on ingredients.
Usually, restaurants reserve spice cakes like this one for winter months, as it is more homey and can be served warm with some unique flavour of ice cream or gooey fruit compote. But I love ginger and figured that I could play around with the recipe and make it something more spring-like. That way I could also take advantage of the new produce at the store.
However, I cheated a little bit and bought something out-of-season: Mangoes [they usually don't appear until May].
I couldn't help it..Blame the Indian in me.
But it is because of those mangoes that I was able to come up with my springtime creation: Mango-Ginger Spice Cake. Personally, I would have liked to have more ginger flavour - the spicier the better! I also think that next time I will add a bit more sugar and use an equal ratio of whole-wheat to all-purpose flour so that the mango flavour is more pronounced. But this makes an excellent snack cake without too many added calories. I also picture it as a good cake for breakfast when served with some fresh strawberries [which are in season, by the way. Go for the organic ones at Berkeley Bowl].
April promises to be a good month - springtime foods, more blogposts, Coachella, and a lumberjack party are all in the mix.
And perhaps another trip to Berkeley Bowl.
Springtime Spice Cake
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup mango puree
2.5 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9- by 9-inch cake pan and dust very lightly with flour or line with parchment paper.
Combine ginger with 1/2 tablespoon water in a mixing bowl; add sugar, oil and mango. Mix on low speed. Add eggs; continue mixing at low speed until fully incorporated.
Combine flour, black pepper, ground ginger and baking soda in another mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients slowly to the egg mixture, continuing to beat slowly, scraping mixing bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium for 2 minutes. Scrape; decrease speed to low and slowly add 1/2 cup hot tap water. Mix until just combined, occasionally scraping.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack.