My childhood friend Lisa wrote me recently and asked me if I had a good gingerbread recipe. I realized that I did not! The closest thing I had to that were the ginger cookies I had made a little while ago. This inspired me, I went on a quest for great homemade gingerbread. I turned to the cookbook Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens for some help. I had no idea what I was in for!
First, use much bigger mixing bowls than I did! This makes a ton of batter. Cream 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup shortening and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Then add 1 beaten egg and 1 cup molasses. Mix well.
Sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp cloves (I added 1/4 tsp). Add to molasses mixture. Stir well.
Stir in 1 cup of hot water, beat until smooth. Bake in a greased 9 x 9″ square pan.
I should have realized looking at this pan that something was wrong. Like it was way too small! Bake in a 350F oven for 35 minutes “or until done.”
Ugh!!! Ginger goo, not ginger BREAD. When this first came out of the oven it was all tall, not depressed in the middle. I used a toothpick to test it and it came out clean. Looks like my pan being 1″ smaller than the recipe got me into a whole heap of baking trouble. The question? Can I fix it?
I wracked my brain to figure out if there was a way to fix this gooey raw middle mess. I had heard of people steaming cakes so I tried to use a steaming method I came up with to cook the middle, hopefully without drying out the rest of the cake.
I put the cake back into the square pan, covered it with parchment paper which I cinched closed with butcher’s twine. I put the pan into a large casserole dish and filled it halfway with boiling water. I put it in a 300F oven for 90 minutes to slowly bake through.
I used a biscuit cutter and cut this piece out of the middle of the gingerbread and was thrilled to see it was not raw! I thought I was in the clear so I poured some of their lemon sauce over the top and…
… even with all that sauce, the cake was still totally too dry. At least for me. What a profound disappointment! As all of this was my fault for using the wrong pan size, I can not rate or recommend this recipe in any way. I am sure properly baked, this is delicious but for me that is just a guess. Time to go out and buy a bigger cake pan because I am pretty sure this is not the first time this has happened to me.
At least now I know that you can successfully save a raw cake, I am just not convinced it is worth the extra effort.
Do you have a gingerbread recipe you could recommend? I would really love to hear about it if you do! Something potentially tried and true perhaps?