Friday, August 5, 2011

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce

photo by Anthony Palatta

I found this recipe in a Penzeys Spices catalog. I was in California when I first visited Penzeys, which is a fun place to browse for spices, and I was surprised to find out they have a branch in Grand Central here in New York.

Their catalog comes with several recipes, and this gingerbread cake with lemon sauce recipe looked delectable, so even though it's probably the wrong season for it, I thought I'd give it a try.

I also wanted to check out my new bundt pan.

The cake came out much lighter than in the illustration in the magazine. However, it has a strong, deep molasses flavor that's pretty intense. The lemon sauce to accompany it was quite light and subtle, as well. Separately, I thought each of them were just okay, but together, they were a wonderful combination. I'm not sure if I'd make this again, but I might use this combination of flavors of cake and sauce in some other form...

Gingerbread Cake:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinanmon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Lemon Sauce:
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 tbsp cold butter
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, pour boiling water over shortening and stir until dissolved. Stir in molasses.  In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients, then gradually add to molasses mixture, followed by egg and vanilla. Beat just until incorporated.  Pour into a lightly greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake about 45 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert and cool completely.  Serve with sauce.

For the sauce:  Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cold water in saucepan.  Cook and stir over MEDIUM heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Cook a bit longer until glossy and clear.  If too thick, add more water. Remove from heat and add Lemon extract, butter, and yellow food coloring if desired.  Stir until butter melts.  Cover surface with plastic wrap and cool.  Drizzle over cake before serving.  Add whipped cream if desired.

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