Thursday, February 24, 2005

Southern Molasses Cake

From The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge, who is a veteran baker. This cookbook has a lot of basic and new baking recipes that all have "do aheads" to help you divide the baking into small steps and fit it into everyday life. This cake is really like a gingerbread bundt cake and it just gets better as time goes by. I could see adding some chopped candied ginger to this cake for a little extra kick. The flavor puts me forcibly in mind of Indian Pudding, which I adore but haven't had for years and years (especially if you put a little ice cream on top).

Do aheads:
The dry ingredients and the wet ingredients can be prepared as directed in Step 2 up to 1 day ahead. Keep the dry ingredients covered and at room temperature and the wet ingredients covered and in the fridge. Bring the water to a boil just before continuing with the recipe.
The cake can be prepaered through Step 4, covered, and stored at room temperature for upto 5 days, or wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Step 1:
Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350° (180°C). Lightly grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 12-cup fluted bundt or other fluted tube pan, tapping out excess flour.

Step 2:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine these in a large bowl and whisk until well blended.

1 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup light molasses
2 large eggs
1/4 cups sour cream
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine these in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended

Step 3:
1 cup boiling water
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and add the boiling water. Stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Step 4:
Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few small crumbs attached, 43-50 minutes. Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. If necessary, run a thin knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Invert cake onto rack and life off the pan so the fluted side is up. Set aside to cool completely.

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