When we were growing up, it seemed that someone was always dropping in to visit with my mother. They would sit at the kitchen table and talk, usually over a cup of coffee. My mom’s closest friend, Fanny, would nibble on a spoonful of jam instead of a cookie. Our lifestyle is not really conducive to dropping in on friends in such a casual way, and so I was thrilled when my friend Lori came by last Sunday afternoon with a warm cake, just out of the oven, and a book that she knew I would love. We sat and chatted, and I was reminded of what we have lost in the shuffle of our busy schedules. I miss dropping in on friends and I miss having friends drop in on us, but the sad part of the story occurred to me afterwards, and that was that I never even offered her a cup of coffee.
Lori sent me the recipe along with a little explanation.
The recipe is called “Gingerybread” and is adapted (by me) from a lovely little breakfast/brunch cookbook from the Grant Corner Inn, a bed and breakfast located in a 106 year old Victorian house in Sante Fe, New Mexico. It makes a large 10 x 14 inch cake that can easily serve more than 12 people.
1 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP strong coffee
1 3/4 boiling water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 10 x 14 inch baking pan.
Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Blend in eggs, coffee, vanilla, molasses and honey. Stir in boiling water and set aside.
In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients and then mix into liquids, blending well.
Fold in candied ginger. Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes or till top springs back when touched.
PS – The cookbook states that this recipe is similar to the way gingerbread is made in Scotland – dark and substantial. My adaption was to omit the zest of an orange and substitute vanilla and coffee for 2 TBSP of brandy.
Note: This cake would be perfect for the holidays as an alternative to honey cake. Lori halved the recipe without a problem and is experimenting with oil to make a pareve version.