All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

Saturday, March 9, 2013

the gingerbread cake






We have had enormous amounts of snow lately.  I spent Friday shoveling snow from early morning to the afternoon, and I tell you, I am weary of snow.  It seems to me we have had storms every other day, and especially on weekends, sorry to say.  But one morning, I woke up and went straight into the kitchen, fully aware it was a gingerbread day.

Gingerbread.  

Ginger, cloves,  and cinnamon.  The spicy scent made me smile, and it was only when the cake was cooling that I realized I was making this cake for my son, now in California.  It was a favorite of his, and I was missing him .  When the cake had cooled, I pulled out the waxed paper and red and white twine, and packaged it up, and sent it off.  

Besides the sheer joy of cooking and baking, I'm reminded how the recipes are full of memories and history.  This is the recipe for my daughter's first birthday cake.  This is the first cookbook I bought with my paycheck.  This is the cookbook that fascinated me, heady with herbs and spices I had so little knowledge of.  And this particular cake reminds me of my children, sticking their fingers into the batter, crowding my tiny kitchen, inhaling this delicious spice-scented and very old fashioned cake.  Thanks always to Craig Claiborne,  editor of the New York Times food section and many, many cookbooks, who opened my eyes (and nose), to the world of cloves and cinnamon, thyme and curry, fresh basil and tarragon, before Julia swooped into our world, and long before I knew my way around the kitchen.

Gingerbread Cake

Grease an 8x8 pan, or an 8 or 9x2 inch round cake pan
Preheat oven to 350F.

1 T. vinegar ( I used my hot chili vinegar, but any kind is fine)
3/4 c. milk
2 cups King Arthur flour, sifted
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/3 cup canola or other light oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
3/4 c. molasses

Add the vinegar to the milk and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a large bowl.

In mixer bowl, add the canola oil and sugar, then the egg, and finally, the molasses.

Add the dry ingredients to the oil, egg, molasses mixture along with the by now curdled milk.  Stir only until mixed, do not overbeat.  

Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cake springs back when gently pressed in the center.  

Remove cake to cooling rack until cool, then run a dull knife around the pan and unmold cake to cool further on cooling rack. 

Serve alone or with sweetened whipped cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or a dusting of confectioners sugar or sliced strawberries.  This cake travels well, as long as you wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper after cooling completely.





9 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

Our pathways look just like yours!! Gratefully today we finally had sun and milder temps..
One day all this will be a memory..It has been a very heavy snow laden winter here too!

Love your memories of this cake..I have the NYT cookbook somewhere..somewhere..

Love the bakers twine..You have so much ..so cute!!

katrina said...

Oh, Nana - today was beautiful here as well! Melting snow, roofs clear - and 50 degrees! You sound as though you've got quite a library of cookbooks - all the more to keep us happy during this long, long winter. Happy Spring, I hope, I hope:)

Laura Dembowski said...

I totally love gingerbread! It's so great this recipe brings back all kinds of memories for you. And so sweet you shipped it to your son! I'm tired of the snow too. Bring on spring!

katrina said...

Always delighted to find another gingerbread lover, Laura! This summer I'm going to try gingerbread crumbs in vanilla ice cream to keep my passion for gingerbread fed:) Hoping Spring comes soon for both of us!

Barb said...

YUM! For gingerbread!

So how happy and surprised was your son when he received a 'mom-made' gingerbread cake? Lucky guy.

katrina said...

Barb, happy to say he called to thank me when it arrived:) Miss my boy....

diary of a tomato said...

You bring back memories of looking forward to Craig Claiborne's recipes for the NYTimes that we would devotedly cook each week...

katrina said...

Did you really, Debra? None of my 5 parents used recipes, really, and my former husband liked to eat, not cook:) But I do remember my ah-ha moment, when I realized if I followed a recipe from the NYTimes cookbook, it would come out exactly the same every time. Amazing.

katrina said...

Did you really, Debra? None of my 5 parents used recipes, really, and my former husband liked to eat, not cook:) But I do remember my ah-ha moment, when I realized if I followed a recipe from the NYTimes cookbook, it would come out exactly the same every time. Amazing.