Oh! Hello. It’s been ages and ages. Actual time, one week. With the arrival of the Shaw Cable guy this morning, we have now clawed our way back into the 21st century, and these feelings of connectedness and calm are very reassuring.
Today marks the beginning of the week before Christmas, that frantic time of shopping and trying to remember who you have to buy for, who you haven’t bought for, and which bills should be paid right now lest you find yourself without heat, hot water, or car insurance. I don’t know about you, but I don’t handle stress very well. Fortunately, the one thing you can control, the one thing that can bring you inner peace like nothing else, even if you have forty-thousand relatives to visit in not nearly as many hours, is your kitchen, and you can whip it into submission and fill your home with wondrous holiday smells and end up with a cake that goes very well with rye and ginger ale. Which you probably also need right about now. Yes?
This is a strong-tasting sucker, crammed full of molasses and maple syrup and raw ginger. It’s grown-up gingerbread, and you can serve it with ice cream if you want to but I like it straight out of the pan, plonked onto a plate with a little icing sugar and a cold beer. It’s also packed full of good stuff, so you can even take this with you as an on-the-go breakfast, since you’re going to need to leave early to avoid traffic hell.
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger, packed
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp. dried ginger
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Cream together the butter, ginger, and sugar. Once smooth and creamy, beat in the molasses, maple syrup, sour cream, and eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, dried ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir into liquid mixture. Inhale. Sigh.
Pour into a greased 8″x8″ pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out relatively clean. This is a moist cake, so you may notice moist crumbs. That’s okay. Desirable, even.
The cake’s pretty good hot out of the oven, but believe you me, you’ll like it much better after it’s sat for awhile. There’s a lot of stuff in here to keep it moist, so if you want to bake it the night before, let it sit, then grab it and go in the morning, it would likely be at it’s flavour-zenith then. I’m not sure that phrase worked. Oh well.
You can frost it if you want, but I wouldn’t.
Now, you relax. And maybe buy yourself something nice, wrap it up, and put it under the tree, “From: Santa.” I won’t tell.