Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gingerbread cake

Gingerbread cake

'Tis the season for deliciousness -- the sweet peppermint of candy canes, the melty sweetness of chocolate and of course, spice-laden baked goods, like that most classic of holiday cookies, gingerbread. But why should the drool-inducing combination of spices and molasses and sugar be saved for just cookies? After all, gingerbread started as, well, bread, a quick bread, more cake than cookie.

This stuff was really good and highly addictive. I totally recommend it, especially if you really crave gingerbread but don't feel like doing the work of making cookie dough, rolling it out, cutting it and so forth -- this cake comes together in just minutes.

Gingerbread Cake
From "Baking Illustrated"

2 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cocoa
8 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3/4 c molasses
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c milk
1 egg

1. Grease and flour a 9-by-9 or 11-by-7 pan.
2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Beat together all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and thick.
4. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges pull away from the pan sides. (I used the toothpick test, which seemed to work alright, too.)
5. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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