This is the thing about working in a field that is unrelated to anyone at home – you charter into the unknown waters with heart + soul, barely coming up to breathe, and as the tides take you in various directions and streams, you finally emerge a whole new person. As the year comes to an end, I have yet to believe what an eventful and productive year it has been. In terms of creativity, it just keeps on getting better and better.

And so, when the life is as hectic, chaotic and crazy as mine, the kitchen travails are exact opposite – calm, simple, soothing.

Chocolate and ginger is a beautifully warming combination that soothes the soul and envelopes you like a hug. As the weather has greatly improved here, I’m in constant need for warmth – which means, tea or coffee with a slice of cake.

This cake has no added flavouring – just chocolate and fresh ginger – i.e. keeping it real and simple. The prep has no added effort – which means, it is made in a jiffy with basic pantry ingredients – flour, butter, sugar, eggs and cocoa powder. The frosting is more like a glaze of white chocolate, with just a bit of cream to make it ganache like and real vanilla bean. To garnish, I pretty it up with caramelized ginger and some toasted pecans – all of which is entirely optional!

Recipe adapted from: Mary Berry

The Recipe
Serves 8


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/8 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • Glaze:
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • pinch of vanilla bean
  • Garnish:
  • crystallised ginger
  • pecans, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and flour an 8 inch round cake tin
  • Whisk the hot water with cocoa powder first
  • Then add the milk and whisk to create a smooth paste
  • Add the butter and sugar and cream for 2 minutes
  • Add the eggs and whisk, followed by the fresh ginger
  • Gently fold in the dry ingredients
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, prepare the frosting
  • Glaze:
  • Melt the white chocolate on a double boiler
  • Once chocolate has completely melted, remove from heat and add the cream
  • Whisk to combine
  • Pour over the cake and smooth evenly with an offset spatula
  • Garnish with crystallised ginger and chopped pecans

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.