It was with a bit of skepticism that I decided to study abroad in Germany.
I knew I could handle the language, the weather and the Fußball fanaticism without problem.
The food was another story.
I worried that a vegetarian in Deutschland would be like an igloo in Hawaii. I mean, the country is known for its wienerschnitzel, for goodness sake.
However, a few weeks into life in Bayern and I’m still living, breathing and eating. Emphasis on the “eating.”
It’s taken a bit of searching and a few this-isn’t-what-I-really-want-but-it’s-all-they-have salads. But my general misgivings have been put aside.
In many ways, the experience has been really good for my taste buds. Outside of my comfort zone, I’ve discovered a love for foods that I never before would have given second thought.
However, even with all the bretzl’n and Kaiserschmarrn I desire, there is still something nice about having a taste of home.
That is why, one of the greatest culinary pleasures of D-Land is something not-so-very German: crystallized ginger.
Next to the Nutella, my host mom keeps a little jar of crystallized ginger on the kitchen counter. Rather than take a calorie-busting spoonful of Nutella, I’ve come to prefer finishing off most meals with a punchy little bite of ginger.
Inspired as I am by my beloved ginger, I have decided to pull a recipe out of my vault. All I can do is apologize for not offering this sooner.
Light Pumpkin and Crystallized Ginger Cake
adapted from “Eat Better America“
- 1 box white angel food cake mix
- 1 T whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 C canned raw pumpkin
- 1 C cold water
- 8 oz. container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
- 2 T finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Move the oven rack to lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In extra-large bowl, mix all cake ingredients with mixer on low for 30 seconds. Mix on medium for an additional one minute. Pour into ungreased 10 in. angel food cake pan. Note: I used two loaf pans.
- Bake 37-47 minutes, until top is browned and cracks are dry. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heat-proof funnel or glass bottle. Let hang for about two hours or until completely cooled. Gently loosen cake from pan and turn upside-down onto plate.
- In medium bowl, mix together frosting ingredients, gently folding the ginger in with the topping. Cut cake horizontally across into two equal sections using a serrated knife. Spread half of filling on bottom layer. Replace top layer and use remaining frosting to cover the top. Garnish with crystallized ginger.