My spice cake recipe
I haven't spent a lot of time on Chowhound, so I'm not sure if this is good manners, but I was hoping to draw attention to a spice cake recipe that I published. I've actually been playing with this spice blend for a couple of years now. I always love the flavor of the batter, but it's been hard to find the right vehicle to deliver it (cookies, cake, etc.). I have now settled on a traditional spice cake recipe for an excellent result. I am still looking for any tweaks/suggestions/feedback you might have, though.
Hopefully there are some adventurous bakers out there who might be willing to give this a try. I think you'll find it's worth the effort.
Here's the link: http://www.chow.com/recipes/22786
Note: the original spice cake recipe calls for two 9-inch pans, but I use two eight-inch pans, and they seem to be a good size. The intention with the original recipe is to ice the cakes in two layers, but any icing I've tried detracts from the cake, in my opinion.
Note: the main ingredient that is "exotic" in the recipe is the Szechuan peppercorn (aka prickly ash), which you have to finely grind.
I'll keep checking back.
OK, so I checked out your recipe thinking it would be a another sweet spice cake recipe but it's definitely tweaked, and it certainly sounds intriguing.
What type of shortening do you use? I tend to use butter. I might throw some nuts into the batter as well. What icings have you tried with this cake and found wanting? I was thinking a caramel glaze, but I'll have to taste the cake first.
I'll let you know what I think when I get some Szechuan peppercorns and try your recipe.
Thanks for posting it.
I'm glad you find the recipe interesting looking. It's definitely not your grandmother's spice cake, but it's still a spice cake at heart, and I think kind of special - hard to describe. You would swear it has ginger in it, but there's none.
Not being much of a baker, I just use vegetable shortening because I am more sure of the results. Butter would work in this recipe, though.
A caramel glaze was actually my next thought - I've used buttercream, a rum buttercream, sort of a coolwhip based icing... but even plain icing sugar detracts rather than enhances, I find.
Best wishes, and thanks for looking!