Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cake #40: Gingerbread Cake and St.Nicholas Day

Can you believe I've been too banged up to bake a cake since Halloween - shameful! It also means that 52 Cakes is going to likely extend into the new year a bit. I'm fine with that.

This cake was made entirely by my youngest son, Brayden. He knows this project is important to me and didn't want me to get behind. What a sweetheart.

He also knows I LOVE gingerbread. It's awesome in it's harsh, dominant, unapologetic flavor. All that molasses and spice just thrills me! I remember a lot of kids would pick the candy and frosting off their gingerbread cookies and toss the cookie - not me. I adore gingerbread and think it should be a year round flavor. Sadly, most of the year I have to make do with it's milder, more accommodating cousin, spice cake.

But today we bake good old fashioned gingerbread in all it's glory!

Gingerbread Cake


2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Butterscotch Sauce, if desired


Heat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour bottom and sides of square pan, 9x9x2 inches.

Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cool.

Butterscotch Sauce (found at Kitchen Confidante, thank you!)

Makes about 3/4 cup.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus more to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy gauge small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, evaporated milk and salt, whisking well. Bring the sauce to a boil, and let it bubble for about 5 minutes whisking periodically. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Taking care not to burn yourself, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and vanilla to your preference. This sauce thickens as it cools and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to reheat it in the microwave before use.

FWIW: We could have used twice as much sauce... but we like our sauces.

Sorry I don't have a pic of the kid with the cake but as I said, I've been feeling rather unwell and he took this on himself. He's such a good boy.

Did you know it's St. Nicholas Day today? We've always celebrated by the boys putting their shoes by the fire on the night of the 5th and they wake up to a shoe full of treasures (usually lego back in the day). I used to put out carrots and then scatter oatmeal mixed with glitter as St. Nicholas's horse, "made a terrible mess" but last night was a very rough night for me so we just filled their shoes with treats and coupons. The kids loved it. I'm posting my printable in case you can use it next year.

Here's the boys with their shoes... I took this at close to 11:00 PM trying out the whole shutter speed thing for the first time. Turns out you can actually see them and if I had a tripod it would have been a decent pic. This is exciting as I feel like my camera just got a lot more useful.

But if you're not steady you get this:

(which is pretty neat too)

And here's what they woke up to:

Yesterday's ADVENT GAME, Blokus,  is an absolute favorite of ours. We were all relieved to have it unwrapped so we can play as often as we like again. 

Trenton gleefully won all four games.


grrlpup said...

I might try Blokus as remedial spatial skills work! Of course, Elizabeth the engineer will enjoy a BIG winning streak. :D

My dad requests gingerbread for his birthday in April every year, so its season can extend beyond the holidays!

donna!ee said...

yummy recipe, gingerbread is a fav of mine BUT i just don't enjoy the storebought. so much fun life at your place with you & yours, thank you much for sharing ... :)

Ayana said...

Mmmm! I love ginger flavored baked goods! I should try this recipe! But I am scared that my family won't eat it (then I will have to eat the entire thing o_O.

Mim Smith Faro said...

I love the Advent game idea. Do you also have Blokus Trigon? Those are favorites in my classroom along with Tsuro, backgammon, chess, and Set.

Kym said...

We are big blokus fans too - such a fun game. Today I made the gingerbread (and sauce!) to serve after dinner. Yummy! Will def. be making this one again.
Note to self: must remember to visit this blog more often - so much inspiration here!