This recipe is from Tightwad's friend Nica, fierce cook, blogger and fitness guru. She adapted it from Cooks Illustrated but put her own twist on it - and Tightwad has put a little extra something something in too. Tightwad thinks she may source some single use baking tins and make several batches of this delicious cake for hostess gifts over the holidays. Its dark and spicy deliciousness is a perfect pairing with holiday parties and dinners. You may consider adding a little drop of stout to increase the robustness.
2-¼ cups all-purpose flour (could sub in half whole wheat)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons minced crystallized
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
½ tsp. ground allspice
small pinch black pepper
1 tsp. cocoa powder (Dutch-processed is ideal)
8 tablespoons butter, melted and at room temperature (sub vegetable oil for vegan)
½ cup molasses
¼ cup pure maple syrup (or use ¾ cup molasses total)
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup milk
1 large egg
1. Put oven rack at middle position and set oven at 350o
2. Butter and flour an 11” x 7” baking dish
3. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl
4. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients and mix well with a hand mixer
5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until batter is smooth and thick (for about one minute), scraping down sides as needed (don’t over mix!)
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface
7. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges have pulled away from the pan sides (about 40 minutes). Try not to open the oven door until the minimum recommended cooking time has elapsed.
8. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool at least 10 minutes.
9. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious topped with powdered sugar, or even a dollop of whipped cream...