As soon as I turned the page and saw that thick wedge of ginger spice cake lightly dusted with powdered sugar, snuggled up with a heaping spoonful of warm cranberries and soft pillow of whipped cream, my mind drifted off to a cozy mountain cabin warmed by the spicy aroma of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and allspice wafting from the kitchen...
Although this cake has Thanksgiving and Christmas written all over it, I made it a little earlier in the holiday season for a German Novemberfest party. I actually doubled the recipe and made two cakes - one for Novemberfest and the second for a CAbi party the next day. I used 8-inch cake pans instead of 9-inch, so my cakes were a bit thicker and took about 10 minutes longer to bake. I also simmered the cranberries an extra 10-15 minutes and added a few tablespoons of Luxardo Cherry Liqueur during the last 5 minutes of simmering.
After posting a teaser photo of my finished cake on Newf in My Soup's Facebook page, my friend Holli made me laugh with her e-mail comment: You really seem to dig Tyler Florence...bet you'd like to warm HIS cranberries ;-) Okay, I guess it may be time to change my profile photo...
Ginger Spice Cake with Warm Cranberries
From Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen
(Makes one cake; serves 8)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup whipped cream, for garnish
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the pan bottom and place it inside; then spray the paper. Set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, molasses, sugar, and melted butter until thick. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat for 1 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the cake’s structure. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth down the top of the batter until even. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, combine the ingredients for the cranberries in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan, and then slice it in wedges. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with warm cranberries and whipped cream.