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Published: Tuesday, 1/23/2001

Three Wishes Gingerbread Cake

Regarding Three Wishes Gingerbread recipe, which uses ground ginger, candied ginger, and finely diced fresh gingerroot, Lora Brody writes in Basic Baking, "My wish was to get as many forms of this palate-awakening root into the cake . . ."

Shortening and flour to prepare pan

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup regular molasses (not black-strap)

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup candied ginger, very finely diced with a pair of kitchen scissors, spraying blades with nonstick vegetable spray first

1 tablespoon finely diced fresh gingerroot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven. Use vegetable shortening to coat the bottom and sides of the 9-inch square baking pan. Flour and shake the pan to coat sides and bottom; knock out excess and set aside.

Place a mesh sieve over medium mixing bowl and add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Shake the contents into the bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, oil, eggs, dark brown sugar, molasses, and buttermilk. Stir them together well with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir well. With mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Move beaters around the bowl and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula several times while mixing. The batter will be lumpy. Scatter the candied ginger and fresh gingerroot over the top - don't add them all in a clump - then stir them in. Scrape the batter into a prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a rack, then invert it again onto a serving plate so it sits up. Cut into 9 equal pieces.

Dust with confectioner's sugar if desired or serve with whipped cream.

Yield: 9 servings

Source: Basic Baking by Lora Brody

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