Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cold Weather Likes Spice

I live in the Midwest (read: cold and dreary).  Last Sunday was no exception, bringing snow, snow, and... oh yeah, more snow!  That being the case, it seemed like a good excuse to make a nice, scrumptious spice cake.  I had an idea in my mind for a moist, dense, almost brownie like treat.  I also had a bottle of full-bodied molasses that needed to be put to good use.  So I sat down with some of my favorite old baking books (most of which have been salvaged from various thrift stores) and set to work.  The following is the culmination of their best offerings.  Around 40 minutes, start checking to gauge the remaining time as no two ovens are alike.

The cake came together quickly, and had exactly the consistency I was looking for - almost brownie like.  It is not very sweet, rather deliciously spicy.  It pairs perfectly with the glaze, which is absolutely to die for.  It was a real treat to eat a slice of this with a nice, warm cup of good coffee as an afternoon treat on a cold day.
Winter Spice Cake
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1 egg, beaten
1 C + 2 tbsp dark molasses
3 large carrots (about 1 C), ran through food processor (or grated)
1 1/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground giner
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 C hot coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter 9" square pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and molasses, mix well.  Add carrot, mix well.
3. Sift dry ingredients, and stir into creamed mixture.  Stir in hot coffee (mixture will be thin).  Pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes - until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cake cool until lightly warm.  Glaze, and let set.

Molasses-Cinnamon Glaze (trust me, you don't want to skip this)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp dark molasses
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

Whisk ingredients together, adding water as necessary.

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