Allow me to recount a conversation I had with David yesterday as we were compiling a grocery list for last night's dinner party:
Me: Do we have molasses?
David: Yes. Two kinds.
Me: Is there at least a cup? That's how much I need for this cake.
The problem was that I didn't ask what kind of molasses. I assumed one was milder and the other was darker. Little did I know that one of them was pomegranate molasses, typically used in Middle Eastern food but not exactly suitable for a ginger spice cake. However, by the time I discovered this all the ingredients were on the counter and I had to get started.
This cake was probably meant to be ginger-spicy and sweet, but ended up slightly tangy due to the pomegranate molasses. Although it was tasty, it wasn't quite what everyone was expecting. It was amazingly tender, though.
The original recipe is for a snack cake to be dusted with powdered sugar, but I added a light layer of cream cheese frosting and sprinkled additional candied ginger over it to dress it up for the dinner.
Farewell to The Cake Book as the Cake Slice book for the year! It's been interesting (and by interesting, I mean there were some interesting cake fails in my kitchen), but next month we start working from Vintage Cakes.
Ginger Spice Cake
Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup mild molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed (I used dark)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch springform pan.
Whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt; remove two teaspoons of this mixture and transfer them to a small bowl. Mix the candied ginger with the two teaspoons of flour.
Mix together the molasses and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add the eggs and mix until blended. Add the candied ginger and mix again.
Heat the butter and water together in a small saucepan, and whisk until the butter is melted. Stir in the baking soda, and then remove from the heat. Add half a cup of this to the molasses mixture to temper it--this will foam wildly, hence the need for the large bowl. Then whisk in the remaining butter mixture.
Whisk in the flour mixture and candied ginger, then pour the batter into the springform pan.
Bake for approximately fifty minutes. This time is approximate, so use a toothpick and check at the forty-minute mark. Cool the cake on a baking rack before removing the side of the springform pan.
Dust with powdered sugar or add cream cheese for a "dressier" cake. Serves 10-12 depending on the size of the slices.