Or: the Trials and Tribulations of an Uptown Girl with a Boyfriend from Old Europe

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Location: Basel, Switzerland

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spice Girls

The ginger cookies that my sister makes are out of this world. Last Christmas, she whipped up a batch, and I swear the cookie jar was empty again within 24 hours. Or was it 12? In any case, it was fast. Especially when they're warm, they're amazing: soft, not too sweet, and hauntingly spicy.

Even though I've stolen the recipe from her, I've never made them myself, not even after I had Swissy Pie track down a jar of molasses for me at Migros. Part of it is that I'm lazy. I only have one baking sheet here, a cheap black thing that came with our oven, and I just don't want to spend half the day in the kitchen waiting for it to cool down so I can stick another dozen in. The other part is pride: I don't want to end up with cookies that aren't as good as my sister's. (No, I'm not competitive. What gave you that idea?!)

But the other day, I came across a recipe for molasses cake that sounded super-easy and very appealing. Since I also had a bit of fresh ginger that I wanted to use up, I couldn't resist grating some into the batter. The result was moist, tender, and perfectly ginger-y. Dare I say it? This cake might even be better than my sister's cookies. (But only because it's a lot less of a hassle to make.)

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cake
  • 2 1/4 C. flour
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 C. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 C. butter, melted
  • 1/2 C. molasses
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 C. boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C, or with a convection oven, 160 C).

Cut out a round of parchment paper to line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and butter. The mixture will gather into crumbs; using a whisk helps keep the crumbs fine. Take out a scant 1/4 C. of the crumb mixture and set aside for topping.

In another bowl, mix the molasses, baking soda, and hot water. The soda will fizz a little when dissolved.

Slowly whisk the liquid into the dry ingredients, and stir until smooth. Any lumps that remaining should be ginger.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan. Scatter reserved crumbs on top.

Bake for 45 minutes (35 if using a convection oven), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool, run a knife along the outside of the pan to loosen the cake, and turn out onto a serving plate.

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Blogger naechstehaltestelle said...

It's like you're just forcing me to break my diet. First the Yorkshire puddings, now this.

May 5, 2007 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Un-Swiss Miss said...

You know DIET is a four letter word!

May 6, 2007 at 11:40 AM  

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