Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gingerbread and applesauce

Sweet, rich, spicy and wonderfully complimented by the applesauce.

Growing up, one off my favourite desserts was my mom's gingerbread and applesauce. It's cake-style, not cookie, and if you don't know, my mom makes the best applesauce in three counties.*

It's a simple cake recipe, but uses an entire cup of molasses. My mom would use blackstrap, which lends such an intense molasses flavour and colour to it. I did a bit of research into the different types of molasses, and found a few interesting bits:

1) Fancy is sweeter and lighter. Also known as first, from the first boiling of the cane.
2) Dark is from the second boiling.
3) Blackstrap is the third and final boiling and has the least sugar and darkest colour.

On to the baking:

1/2 c. shortening and 1/2 c. sugar.

Whisk in:
1 egg, 1 c. molasses, fresh grated ginger. (I bought fancy molasses without knowing how much lighter it would be. In the future I would go with dark or blackstrap.)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger (if you don't use fresh ginger)

Add dry to wet, alternately adding dry with 1 c. hot water.
Bake at 350 F for 45 min.

Top with applesauce, preferably from Transparent apples. (Picture of apples here.)

Over at smitten kitchen they've just posted a recipe that uses Guinness instead of water, considerably more sugar, more spices and more eggs.

Wet ingredients mixed. Much lighter than my mom's.

* copyright Matt Turner, circa 1994.


Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to try this recipe, even though I'm not the biggest molasses fan on the block. I love family recipes, and I have never tried the molasses-and-apple-sauce combination. It sounds pretty good.

Anonymous said...

And did I mention I love the picture you took of the cake decked out in applesauce too? I do.

Brenton said...

Try it. For real though. Forildo. On its own, pretty good. With applesauce, though? Nearly transcendent.

Thanks (re: the picture). I followed your lead on the cupcake pictures: holding it up under some light. My skills of an artist are beginning to bloom.