Posts tagged gingerbread
Louisiana Syrup Cake - American Cake - Yum
Moist, delicious, gingerbread cake.
There's a piece in the American Cake book with this recipe that talks about Steen's Cane Syrup. Steen's can be found in the south it says. Just about the time I got to this section of the book a co-worker said he was heading to Louisiana to work with his mom on her house that was devastated in the Baton Rouge floods 6 months ago.
I can't imagine the loss. 
But being the opportunist that I am I asked for him to pick up some syrup, you know, if he could. Well he did and I'm grateful. 

This is a variation on gingerbread. The syrup taste like lighter molasses than corn syrup but you know if you don't have Steen's just make a different cake. 

And interestingly, dissolving the baking soda in hot water is a rare thing, but I've seen it a few times and it makes me think "old fashioned".

1.5 cup granulated sugar
.75 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Steen's cane syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup water boiling hot
2.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon ginger
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon cloves
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Butter or oil spray a 13x9 pan thoroughly. Parchment is tricky with this one because it is a sticky cake.

In a big old bowl whisk the sugar and oil together. Add the syrup, stir it in. Dissolve the baking soda into the hot water. Add that to the sugar/syrup mixture. The heat and water loosens the batter. Dump the flour, spices and salt into the mixture. Add the eggs.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 45 minutes to an hour until a testers comes out cleanly. Top with powdered sugar and serve warm.

So Mr. Louisiana said the cake reminded him of home. There can't be a better compliment.

The Life is Going to be Just Fine in the Colonies - Mary Ball Washington Gingerbread - American Cake
There are golden raisins lurking in there! 
Cake 2 from American Cake by Anne Byrn

I feel like I have to make this cake again. Dagnabit!

So I did bake it twice. Here is my initial reaction: Mind you what I have is yummy but I just looked up mace, and now I have to buy it. I couldn't find it easily at the local Kroger so I just omitted it. I feel like I'm missing out and my life will be better if I make the effort. So herumph. There's a Penzeys Spices a few miles away. I can do this. I also didn't have an orange in the house so I used lemon. One wrong thing I can live with two things I can't. So I'll do this again shortly.

Twenty-four hours later, an orange and a jar of mace later I've made this delicious cake. Wow! It's a stunner! IDK if it's the orange zest, the mace, the brandy or the raisins but combined it is something to write home about. At least to write praise in blog about. This is like a cross between a Holiday fruit cake and quick bread. Wow!

I'm sure folks who had this as a treat were happy to be in the colonies.

13x9 pan, oven 350 degrees. I used parchment paper and sprayed the pan. Again, I'm seeking the cake's flavor and structure as to what they might have used to have. I'm also looking for technique that is unknown to me. I don't have to cream sugar and butter by hand because I already know that's not fun. I'm not going to forego parchment when I know it gives good results. I know Anne will forgive me.

The recipe:

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons dried ginger (that's not a typo, I checked a few times)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
.25 teaspoon nutmeg
.25 teaspoon mace
1 large orange, zested and juiced
4oz butter, lightly salted
.5 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
.5 cup warm milk
.25 cup brandy
3 large eggs
1 cup golden raisins + 1 teaspoon flour

Sift the dry ingredients, in the list from flour to mace together.
Cream the butter, sugar and molasses until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the orange juice, zest, milk, brandy, eggs and cream.
Add the dry ingredients, mix until smooth.
Toss the raisins in flour then add to the batter. Fold in.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes then cut and serve warm.
American Cake-American Ginger Bread
Gingerbread. Looks like chocolate cake, but it isn't!
Rare is it when I get to explore history, American history, food history, new recipes, new techniques (or very old techniques actually) and get to have a tangible thing in the end. Cake!

I was listening to Stuff you Missed in History Class as I regularly do, when I was in the kitchen this past weekend. I was baking a Decorated Swiss Roll for The Daring Baker's Challenge.  And as boom they had Ms. Anne Byrn on talking about her new book. Her Cake Doctor books, while not my typical way of baking, were inspired. I actually recognized her name!

Oh sweet heaven! She was talking about how America developed and along side it, its cake culture. I could not have geeked out more. American history is the first thing that whet my appetite for history and baking is my way of life. The women host, Holly and Tracy were both surprised that these two things hadn't intertwined before now. Me too!

Anyway, I bought that book and read the first through the first 6 or 7 recipes. I'd been looking for more baking adventures, so in a Julie/Julia kind of moment I've decided to give the entire book a go from start to end.This is more for my edification than for anyone else's. I call no judgement. So I stopped reading deeper into the book. I have to bake then I can read.

Today I made the American Gingerbread. What was new to me and a leap of trust? A full cup of water with baking soda dissolved into it. I've dissolved baking soda into water for raisin oatmeal cookies, but this was massive. Also, not spraying my pan with cooking spray and just going with a butter schmear. I did however use a stand mixer. I mean, this is 2016 after all.

The recipe with minimal instruction is as follows. Please buy her book. American Cake by Anne Byrn.

1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 ounces butter
.5 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1.5 teaspoon ginger
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
.25 teaspoon allspice

375 oven. 8x8 pan. Grease pan with butter.
Add baking soda to water and stir to dissolve, set aside.
Cream molasses, eggs and butter. Add sugar. Cream more. Add flour and spices. When combined add the water/soda mixture. Start the machine slowly or it's going to go everywhere.
Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven when a tester comes out clean.

This is super delicious. There's a fluffy crumb and the top has just a little sugary crunchy resistance. Clearly it's very molassessy. A total yum. But as an aside, I make a gingerbread trifle and this recipe is not dense enough to work in that.