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Double-Ginger Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ginger-Infused Strawberries

Double-Ginger Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ginger-Infused Strawberries

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  • Softened butter (for brushing pan)
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Ginger-Infused Strawberries

  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, very thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled, halved (about 8 cups)
  • Sliced fresh mint leaves (optional)

Recipe Preparation


  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Brush softened butter generously all over inside of 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle raw sugar over butter in pan, tilting pan to coat completely.

  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in large bowl until smooth. Add 2 cups sugar; beat on medium-high speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 egg yolk and vanilla, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with sour cream in 2 additions, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in crystallized ginger. Spread batter in pan, being careful not to dislodge raw sugar.

  • Bake cake until top is light brown and tester inserted near center comes out with a few small crumbs attached, about 55 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 15 minutes. Gently tap bottom edge of pan on work surface while rotating pan until cake loosens. Place rack atop pan and invert cake onto rack; remove pan. Cool completely.

Ginger-infused strawberries

  • Combine first 4 ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture is reduced to scant 1 cup, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cool ginger syrup to room temperature (do not strain). DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Place berries in medium bowl. Strain ginger syrup and pour over berries; toss. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

  • Cut cake into slices and place on plates. Spoon berries with syrup alongside. Sprinkle with mint, if desired, and serve.

Recipe by Abigail Johnson Dodge,Reviews Section

Double-Ginger Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ginger-Infused Strawberries - Recipes

The "Food" in the Food Librarian today is the Double-Ginger Sour Cream and Bundt Cake with Ginger-Infused Strawberries that appeared in the April 2009 issue of Bon Appétit. Be sure to visit your library to read a bunch of magazines - free!

This recipe uses 1 cup of crystallized ginger - serious yummy! Sugar in the Raw coats the pan. but most of my sugar baked into the cake (bummer). Look at Bon Appetit's photo - it is quite pretty and shiny.

Here's the recipe. The cake is quite delightful and rich. It gingerific with three types of ginger: ground, crystallized and fresh!

The "Librarian" in the Food Librarian is the Librarian Action Figure! [I'll wait while you giggle]. It's made by the same company that presents us with the Lunch Lady, Jesus and Deluxe Jesus action figures. She's modeled after librarian Nancy Pearl who you may have heard on NPR dispensing reading recommendations. There is a button that lifts her arm in a "Shushing" motion. oh, the stereotype! (But I doubt there are many other occupations that have their own action figure. so I'm not complaining!)

Each day this week, I'll have a giveaway! I want to celebrate libraries and thank the readers of my little blog.

Day 1 Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive:
a. Cool 3-tier mini-cake set with tray. This is a 4", 3", and 2" pan made by Southern California family-owned company, Parrish/Magic Line (purchased at Surfas)
b. Beaded Bookmark - Mark your favorite cookbook or novel with this bookmark handmade by the Food Librarian and friends!
c. Book bag - Stroll into your library with this super light bag from the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! The library is very environmental because it's the ultimate reuse center!

Sweet and Savory Flavors From Around the World

Chefs frequently turn to grandma’s dessert recipes to showcase exciting and indulgent new flavors. Coconut, Guinness, sour cream, guanábana, thyme, ginger, chipotle, bourbon and miso are just some of the ingredients now appearing in classic dessert formats. Reinventing recognizable desserts from the past, such as whoopie pies, cupcakes, bread pudding and apple pie, using foreign flavors, mixes nostalgia with adventure. Recently, chefs have been changing the original desserts and flavoring them with different, exotic flavors. The whoopie pie, for example, can be made many ways from the original chocolate and cream filling to butterscotch toffee or red velvet with cream cheese. These changes give consumers updated flavors in a recognizable way.

Deconstructing the Traditional
Apple pies, tarts and crumbles, some of the country’s favorite dessert choices, are deconstructed by many pastry chefs. Chef Mindy Segal, from Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar in Chicago, makes a warm apple confit with brown butter streusel, tart cider semifreddo, a pecan caramel candy bar and an apple butter cream puff. Pastry chef Maximo Santiago, of Miami, has created an apple crostada with bûcheron ice cream, aged balsamic vinegar and spiced apple clouds. Cupcakes with bold new flavor profiles, like chai-spiced, Key lime, tiramisu and Nutella are another new national trend. There are even stores dedicated solely to cupcakes, like Molly’s Cupcakes and Swirlz Cupcakes in Chicago.

Another important classic dessert is, of course, chocolate. A dessert connoisseur’s favorite, chocolate has been paired with different fruit flavors for as long as one can think, but now chocolate is paired with every kind of flavor. One example is the chipotle Mexican chocolate bar, which combines the spicy zing of peppers with dark chocolate. Other important flavors that have recently been coupled with chocolate include cardamom, Earl Grey tea, red pepper flakes, orange zest and cinnamon. Remember the drink, Ovaltine? Blackbird in Chicago is making a milk chocolate ganache containing Ovaltine, sesame and banana bread ice cream.

Latin, Asian and other international flavors are increasing in popularity. Ginger, for example, is featured prominently in the dessert sections of the Bon Appétit and Epicurious websites. It works well in desserts, because it has a slightly spicy, but sweet, flavor that consumers recognize from Ginger Snaps, a classic cookie flavor. Desserts, like Lemon Ginger Cake with Pistachios and Double Ginger Sour Cream or Bundt Cake with Ginger-infused strawberries, are just two of the tantalizing combinations available.

Coconut, a flavor found in established desserts, like macaroons and coconut cream pie, is now being utilized in coconut rice pudding with crispy coconut shavings, coconut flans and fruit parfaits with coconut sponge cake. The spice cardamom is used at Hot Chocolate in their Banana Brioche Bread Pudding, banana sherbet, malted liquid butterscotch, cardamom cream and a banana cake canolli. Spices from around the world are great flavors to incorporate into desserts, as well as specific fruits and staple ingredients of other nations.

Loving Latin Flavors
Latin influences are evident in the use of passion fruit native to Brazil lulo from Ecuador, with its flavor similar to rhubarb and lime and guanábana, from Central America, which features hints of sour strawberry and pineapple flavors and a creaminess resembling coconut or banana. These exotic flavors are now found in sorbets, ice cream and gelatos, as well as exotic cheesecake flights. Asian influences appear in rice puddings, Japanese rice cakes called mochi and versions of miso cakes. Warm Jasmine rice pudding with passion fruit or tropical sherbets are a great way to incorporate these exotic flavors into desserts.

Blood orange, with varieties native to Italy and Spain, also make a great sorbet. An unusual fruit called pitahaya is a relative of the prickly pear, with a magenta color that adds beautiful and delicious flavor to desserts. Blackbird’s pastry chef in Chicago makes a dessert with the popular Brazilian fruit called cupuaçu, one of the latest Superfruits. Diners there can feast on Criollo chocolate with cupuaçu, milk meringue and tonka bean ice cream. Not only is cupuaçu the new and attractive Superfruit, but açai, another recognizable Superfruit, is now produced in liquor form by VeeV.

Liquor has long been used in many dessert applications and is increasingly seen in the sweet and savory profiles of today’s dessert menus, as chefs experiment with beer, liquor and wine to create bold and inviting applications. Beer is a common baking ingredient, because the carbonation affects texture. Stouts and other heavy, dark beers with hints of coffee flavors have found their way into ice cream floats, while sour beers are being coupled with tangy fruit to create exciting new gelato flavors. Bread pudding has virtually been reinvented using Guinness. Another amazing creation is house-baked brioche, using Guinness and Valrhona milk chocolate with Jameson caramel sauce. At Sona in Los Angeles, pastry chefs are making chocolate beignets using oatmeal stout and honey ice cream atop a beer waffle. Tecate cake is light, fluffy and moist, because of the carbonated Mexican beer that is used. Sweet and savory combinations in desserts tantalize the palate and keep the taste buds satisfied.

Wine used in desserts is nothing new and has been used in reductions or for poaching. Hot Chocolate in Chicago offers Port wine-poached and -roasted local pears, quinoa- and tart-dried cherry pudding, and gingerbread and red wine cream cheese-frosted layer cake. New dessert flavor sources also include a variety of other ingredients, including olive oil, salt, herbs and surprisingly, bacon.

Bringing Home the Bacon (Dessert)

The bacon revolution shows up in the dessert scene in bacon ice cream, bacon dark chocolate bars and even bacon Bananas Foster. The salty, umami notes of bacon give desserts a unique burst of savory flavor that satisfies both sweet and salty palates. Olive oil in desserts has been popular, as well. Cakes baked with different olive oils offer unique flavors and moist texture. The spring desserts section of Bon Appétit online features an olive oil couscous cake made with crème fraîche and date syrup. These three savory ingredients (olive oil, couscous and crème fraîche) combine with the sweet date syrup to make a delicious and interesting dessert profile. Savory herbs and spices are also making their way into desserts. White pepper crème brûlée pairs well with basil and thyme. Basil, with its clean, fresh flavor, can be used in lemon custard parfaits with basil tuile cups, and thyme also goes well with fruit, such as thyme-roasted pears.

The plethora of ingredients available to chefs has inspired creative flavors. The ethnic trends around the world and various cooking techniques provide the foundation for endless possibilities. As the world has grown smaller, the list of available and sought-after exotic flavors has expanded, making dessert an even more appealing treat. At the end of the day, “It’s All About Flavor.” pf

Via Corona Exterior: You Need A Montage!

TD here. When The Misanthropic Hostess herself told me I had the incredible honor of writing up Via Corona’s exterior, I really didn’t know what to say about an edifice that was both far from good and not good from far.

That’s when it came to me . . . we’re gonna need a montage!

Shannon here…do you have any idea how long he’s been waiting to incorporate something from Rocky into a Via Corona post? Dude just seriously dropped his mic and walked off stage.

Double chocolate cake, raspberry filling, vanilla meringue buttercream (oh my!)

March 5, 2012. That is the original date on this post, the date that I thought I would be sharing this cake with you. Three days after my honey's birthday, one hundred and four days ago. Bella Eats has not gone this long without a real post since the great silence of 2010, when I took a few months off in the midst of starting my company, teaching architecture to hopeful college students, and redesigning this site. I hoped then that such a long break would never happen again, but I suppose that one can never predict life's ebbs and flows. I won't bore you with what I've been up to. If you're interested, I invite you to visit my other passions, Andrea Hubbell Photography and Beyond the Flavor, for peeks into my latest projects.

Rather than start off with apologies I'd like to have a little celebration. That's what cakes are for, right?! This particular cake was baked to celebrate Brian's 30th birthday. Thirty! 30. The big 3-0. We both reached that milestone in March with mixed emotions, though most of them good. I've never thought of myself as one who is aware of age. But perhaps that was because I was the one still in my 3rd decade while most of my friends were beginning their 4th. Maybe it is my change in career (there are a lot of young, talented photographers that I've surrounded myself with lately) or the launch of Beyond the Flavor (where we find ourselves often interviewing young, talented chefs/farmers/bakers) but I've found myself on several occasions lately thinking 'Gosh, I'm old!'. I know that it's silly, and that those of you reading this who are dancing your way through your fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh decades are rolling your eyes at this very moment. But, it’s true.

And I’ve realized, each time that I think ‘Gosh, I’m old!’, that it really isn’t a bad feeling. With ‘old’ comes comfort, and experience, and tradition. For example, I love that I can look back over the last few years and see four variations of this chocolate cake. Three years ago, when Bella Eats was in its infancy, I made a double chocolate cake with raspberry filling to celebrate my love’s twenty-seventh birthday. It was my very first layer cake. ever. And the next year, a double chocolate cake with praline topping to celebrate his twenty-eighth. And the following year, a double chocolate cake with mocha cream for his twenty-ninth (although, somehow, this version never made it to the blog). I have, just now, read those first two cake posts, and am completely delighted with how much has changed since then.

In 2009 I had just lost my first job out of graduate school. I’d completed my master’s in architecture the previous spring unsure of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Employment in architecture was the clear path, but I wasn’t feeling compelled to follow it. Secretly, I hoped that I wouldn’t receive a job offer after school, and that I would be forced to think outside of the box to find my true calling. Instead, a position at a landscape architecture firm landed in my lap, and I took the opportunity to explore something similar, but different, from what I’d been trained to do. 2009 brought the loss of that job, and a position back in an architecture firm. Also, I was baking in my cramped, red countertop kitchen.

In 2010 I was still working for that same architecture firm, although the writing was on the wall that I might not be for long. It was a tough year for architects a year when the economy forced many of us to find alternate paths. I was beginning to find mine when I wrote Brian’s birthday cake post in March, having recently photographed a few projects for the firm and a few family portraits for friends. Soon after, I would receive an offer to teach architecture at the University of Virginia. And, I was still baking in my cramped, red countertop kitchen.

Although there isn’t a proper post for Brian’s 29th birthday cake, I can remember with some clarity what was happening in 2011 and feel I should document it here. I’d recently quit my architecture job, declined a second semester of teaching at UVA, and launched into my photography company as a full-time career. It was scary, and unpredictable, and I had no idea what I was doing. Brian found a new job that same month, sending himself off in a new direction entirely. We were hopeful, and excited, and ready for what the world had to offer. But still, I was baking in my cramped, red countertop kitchen.

And here we are in 2012. Life has more certainty to it. My career path is clear, Brian’s career path is clear, we are both loving our jobs. After a decade together (yes, we started dating when we were 20!) and six years of marriage we’ve finally planned a honeymoon to Spain. Looking back on B’s 28th birthday post, my favorite lines are these: We've started a ‘thirty before thirty’ list, although I don’t think either of us has finalized the catalog of things we’re set to accomplish. A lot can happen in two years’ time, and I’ve come to terms with the reality that is a sliding scale of goals, an evolving list of priorities. The point is to think about it, to make an effort towards trying new things, towards bettering and challenging ourselves in the smallest or biggest of ways. We definitely didn’t complete the items on the list, and probably never completed the list itself, but I like to think that we still approach life in the same way. And yes, I baked his thirtieth birthday cake in our cramped, red countertop kitchen.

Much has changed these last three years. My job. My career path. My writing and my photography. Even our kitchen, since we just spent the last month remodeling it (. ). But the one constant, that one element in each of these posts aside from the double chocolate cake, is Brian. He who makes growing old comfortable, enjoyable, and welcome. May we have many more birthdays to celebrate, with some variation of this double chocolate cake. xoxo.