Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

Makes: 9 inch square pan
Takes: 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup sifted (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (or 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger)
  • 1 tsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or ground if that’s what you have)
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted then cooled to room temp)
  • 3/4 cup mild or light molasses (or dark if you like it dark)
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (in a pinch, use 1/2 cup regular yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • optional confectioner’s sugar to dust at the end

Instructions

  1. Put oven rack to the middle.  Pre-heat oven to 350deg F.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of baking pan, then dust it with flour.
  3. Put flour, ginger, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk it together.  This is the dry mixture.
  4. Put the butter, molasses, and sugar in a separate large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined.  This is the wet mixture.
  5. Beat the egg into the wet mixture.
  6. Slowly add the buttermilk and milk to the wet mixture and beat it in.
  7. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.  Beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides as you go, as needed. Should take about a minute.
  8. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake until top springs back when touched and edges pull away from the pan. That’s about 35-45 minutes.
  10. Set pan on cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
  11. Optional: dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Notes

Recipe says it can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and refrigerated up to 5 days.  Leave it in the pan if you do that or it will get a little sticky on the outside.

This is a very cake-like gingerbread.  Do not try to cut out like cookies. Do not use to build a house.

 

Cream Scones Of Doom

Cream Scones of Doom

Makes: 8 wedge scones (or 16 mini-scone wedges)
Takes: 20 – 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • optional: 1/2 cup currants
    or 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
    or 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Instructions

  1. Put oven rack to middle position. Pre-heat oven to 425deg F.
  2. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix.
  3. Cut in the butter.
    By hand: use a pastry cutter or whatever you do you masochist you
    By machine: use a food processor for zip and an extra thing to clean
  4. If using optional add-ins (currants, etc.), add them now and mix.
  5. Stir in heavy cream until dough begins to form.
  6. Dump dough and all dry flour bits to countertop (or whatever) and knead briefly until it comes together in a rough, slightly sticky ball (5 – 10 seconds?). Don’t over-knead.
  7. Pat dough into 3/4″ thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. (For mini-scones, split into two 3/4″ thick circles, cut each into 8 wedges.)
  8. Transfer wedges to ungreased baking sheet.  Optional: brush tops of scones with dregs of the cream, sprinkle with raw sugar.
  9. Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 – 15 minutes.
  10. Cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes. Or they’ll seem underdone. Be chill.  Make some tea and get out the jam and butter and clotted cream while you wait.

Notes

A billion years ago, I found myself in a stranger’s kitchen being fed freshly baked scones. I can’t remember who it was, but the scones were amazing.  This recipe, from Cooks Illustrated (Holiday Baking 2010) is the closest I’ve gotten and they are amazing.

OBVIOUSLY, this is not a straight transcription.  But I’ve made this recipe a lot in the last 6 years or so I have it basically memorized.