For dessert, I crave a spicy ginger cake, as dense and dark as some kinds of English fruitcake I’ve sampled.
And here, molasses, a slightly bitter sweetener, is key, giving the cake just the right character. Chopped dates, raisins and a good dose of black pepper are all in evidence, along with ginger and cinnamon.
I guarantee, if you bet you can stop at one slice, you’ll lose the wager.
But if you do manage some restraint, the cake is also delicious at breakfast or with a cup of tea any time of day.
Molasses ginger cake
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons ground ginger
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup golden raisins, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
• 1/2 cup pitted chopped dates
• Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, ginger, baking powder, pepper and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together molasses, sugar and melted butter. Add eggs, and whisk well. Stir in raisins and dates.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
The batter will be stiff. Spread batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing the top.
Bake until a testing skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
Run a knife along the edge of the cake; once cooled, transfer to a serving platter.
Slice into wedges and serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling, serves 8-10.