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Ginger Cake, Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin by Michael Wignall

Cook at Home

The old faithful ginger cake gets a Michelin makeover with the playful mastery of one of the UK’s most respected chefs, Michael Wignall Chef Patron of The Angel at Hetton. Here Michael shows you – weirdly (well, if you follow it very carefully) – how simple it can be.



Prep Time

2 hours

Cooking Time

60 mins


For the Pumpkin Purée

  • ½ crown prince pumpkin
  • birch syrup, to taste
  • sugar, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • xantham gum

For the Chocolate Gel Namalaka

  • 340g 63% chocolate
  • 200g milk
  • 10g glucose
  • 7g gelatin, soaked in cold water
  • 400g crème excellence

For the Pumpkin Oil Jam

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 185g Pumpkin oil
  • 2g Salt
  • 50g glucose
  • 50g trimoline

For the Ginger Cake

  • 225g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 115g butter unsalted
  • 115g soft brown sugar
  • 230g golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 250g milk
  • 85g stem ginger, grated

For the Set Custard

  • 500g crème excellence (UHT whipping)
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 35g sugar
  • 2.25g pectin x58
  • ½ vanilla pod


For the Pumpkin Purée

  • Remove all of the seeds from the pumpkin.
  • Cut into small pieces and place on a roasting tray, lined with parchment paper, to prevent sticking.
  • Place in the oven at 180c for 2 hours, or until soft.
  • Next scoop out flesh (while still hot) and place into a blender.
  • Add a dash of birch syrup to get the mix blending.
  • Add a knife tip of xanthan gum while blending.
  • Add sugar and salt to taste
  • Once fully blended, pass through a sieve and leave to cool.

For the Chocolate Gel Namalaka

  • Melt the chocolate over a Baine Marie
  • Heat the milk and glucose together and bring to the boil.
  • Add the bloomed gelatin to the hot milk and leave until melted.
  • Strain the mixture into the melted chocolate and mix until fully combined.
  • Pour crème excellence into the chocolate mixture little, by little, whilst stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into a container and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

For the Pumpkin Oil Jam

  • Add the glucose and trimoline to a pan and bring to a rapid boil
  • Place the yolks into a bowl and pour in the glucose and trimoline mixture, whisking continually
  • Once slightly whipped, transfer to a thermomix, with a whipper attachment, set the speed to 3 and gradually pour in the oil.
  • This can be done manually but just takes a bit more time. It’s similar to a mayonnaise recipe, emulsifying the oil to the egg and sugar mixture.
  • Finally, add your salt and pass through a fine sieve.

For the Ginger Cake

  • Combine the flour, ginger, bicarb, and butter until breadcrumb consistency.
  • Melt the golden syrup, brown sugar and milk together.
  • Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture, little by little.
  • Add egg and stem ginger and mix for 3 minutes.
  • Pour into a lined cake tin.
  • Cook at 170c fan 3 for 30 minutes
  • Leave to cool completely before plating.

For the Set Custard

  • Place the crème excellence and vanilla into a pan and start to heat.
  • Mix the sugar and pectin x58 together and then add to the cream when it is warm.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil and pour over the yolks, to temper them.
  • Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove lumps. Cling film and leave to chill.

Plating the Dessert

  • Slice a piece of the ginger cake, approx. 15cm in length, 2.5cm wide and 2 cm high and place down the centre of the plate.
  • Pipe 4-5 varying size amounts of the chocolate namlaka on top of the cake and alternative amounts of the set custard. Then add 5 varying sizes of the pumpkin puree.
  • Lastly, follow the process with the pumpkin jam. You are looking for an even spread of colours across the cake.
  • Chef’s Tip: Michael serves his with stem ginger ice cream but you could also use chocolate or vanilla

The Angel Inn, Hetton, Nr Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6LT

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