Servings: Serves 16–20
Note: Browning the meringue requires a blowtorch; alternatively, leave off the meringue and serve with butter pecan ice cream or extra cane syrup.
To make cake: Combine ginger and 1 1/3 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl and strain ginger through sieve, pressing with a spoon; discard pulp and let ginger water cool.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan (without nonstick lining) with butter. Dust pan with 3 tablespoons flour, tapping out excess.
Whisk together 3 3/4 cups flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pepper in bowl.
Combine 1 1/3 cups cane syrup, oil, brown sugar, and ginger water in the bowl of a standing mixer; whisk with a handheld whisk until blended. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add hot sauce and flour mixture; attach bowl to a mixer with paddle attachment; beat on low speed until batter is smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool on wire rack 10 minutes; then unmold cake onto rack. With a thin wooden skewer, poke holes in top of cake about 1 inch apart. Brush cake with 1/3 cup cane syrup. Let cool.
To make meringue: In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Combine remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally to dissolve sugar. Cook until syrup is dark amber, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn syrup; mixture will bubble vigorously. Cook, without stirring, until syrup is 240° on a digital thermometer.
With mixer on low speed, pour syrup into egg white mixture; don't let syrup touch whisk. Increase speed to high and beat until meringue is thick enough to spread, about 2 minutes. While meringue is still warm, spread over cake with a large spatula, making peaks and swirls. With a crème brûlée torch, brown meringue. Serve at room temperature.
From the May 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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