sugar and spice and everything nice

what. an. incredible. weekend. what a roller coaster of days. i'm still surging with energy after the women's march on washington on saturday and in awe of the millions who turned out to make their voices heard. it was one of those days you just knew you would remember exactly where you were for the rest of your life. there's something pretty powerful about being surrounded by family and friends who march alongside you to champion women's rights.

it was amazing to see my city transformed into a sea of pink yarn, a wall of the most creative, empowering signs you could ever imagine, and a mass of a feminists pouring through our streets. i hesitate to say that this march was "just the beginning," because countless women and men have been cracking away at this ceiling for centuries, but this march was a global show of solidarity that women's rights are human rights. 

ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache || planting my roots

while admittedly this cake is in no way related to the women's march on washington, it was inspired by a group of kickass ladies who have some of the most beautiful, creative sites on the food blogosphere. they dreamed up a "cake toast" party, whereby they invited bloggers to bake a cake, slice it, toast it, frost it and dig in.

one of the bloggers, kale & caramel, baked a grapefruit and earl grey cake for this cake toast party, which got me thinking about other teas that would work well in baked goods. enter ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache and candied ginger. 

ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache || planting my roots
ginger tea cake pre-chocolate ganache || planting my roots
ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache || planting my roots

it's a dense, rich cake (due to the sweet potato, greek yogurt and butter), made sweeter with brown sugar and vanilla and spicier thanks to fresh ginger, ginger tea bags and uncrystallized ginger on top. and ya know, the more i think about it, the more convinced i am it's the kind of treat you'll want to bake for your girlfriends when you're all getting together to plan your next world-changing movement. 

ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache || planting my roots

ginger tea cake with chocolate ganache

serves 16 - 18

what you'll need (for ginger tea cake):
1 large sweet potato
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
non-stick vegetable spray
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp leaves from ginger tea bags (about 3 bags)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated

what you'll need (for chocolate ganache):
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 cup uncrystallized ginger, finely diced

what you'll do (for ginger tea cake):

  1. preheat oven to 350° fahrenheit. line baking sheet with aluminum foil. rinse sweet potato and poke it several times with a fork. rub with extra virgin olive oil to coat skin. place on baking sheet. bake for 40 - 45 minutes. remove from oven and let cool. once cool enough to handle, remove skin and mash sweet potato lightly with a fork. place in bowl and set aside, keeping oven at 350° fahrenheit. 
  2. spray a 8 ½ x 4 ½" loaf pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper. be sure to leave plenty of parchment paper overhang on the long sides of the pan, as this will help you lift this very dense loaf out of the pan after baking.  
  3. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and kosher salt. set aside. 
  4. in a large bowl, combine brown sugar, greek yogurt and butter using hand mixer on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes. 
  5. into the large bowl, crack in eggs one at a time. mix each egg for about 10 seconds, scraping down the bowl with a spatula after adding in each egg.
  6. also into large bowl, add lightly mashed sweet potato, vanilla, fresh ginger and leaves from ginger tea bags. blend to combine for about 30 seconds.
  7. slowly pour flour mixture into large bowl. blend until just combined. 
  8. pour batter into prepared loaf pan. it will be thick. smooth top with spatula and bake for 60 - 70 minutes. remove from oven once toothpick comes out of center of the cake clean. remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. then, lift loaf out of pan using parchment paper and let cool for at least 1 hour before drizzling with chocolate ganache (instructions below).

what you'll do (for chocolate ganache, recipe by life, love and sugar):

  1. place chocolate chips in medium bowl. set aside.  
  2. microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
  3. cover bowl with saran wrap for 5 - 7 minutes, then whisk quickly until smooth. 
  4. allow ganache to sit for a few minutes until it thickens a bit, then pour over cooled cake. 
  5. sprinkle diced uncrystallized ginger on top. 
  6. let iced loaf sit for at least 2 hours before slicing. the chocolate needs to fully harden before slicing and serving.