Fresh Ginger Cake

Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz, page 42, or Epicurious

4 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses (I used Grandma's original molasses)
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut (I used canola oil)
2 1/2 cups flour (I used King Arthur unbleached AP flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used Penzy's cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I used Penzy's ground cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (I used Shillings black pepper rather than fresh cracked pepper because it is finer)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature

1. Preheat over to 350°F. Put rack in the center of the oven. The Epicurious recipe recommends a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan (bottom lined with parchment), but Ready for Dessert says 9 inch springform or 9 x 2-inch round cake pan. However, based on the size of the cake, I don't recommend a 9 x 2 inch'll be too small.
2. Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife, use a grater, or food processor. I used my mini-food processor for quick work.
3. Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil in a large bowl. I used a whisk.
4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper and set aside.
5. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
6. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter.
7. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I checked mine after 50 minutes, and it was done at 55 minutes.
9. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.
10. Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. I let mine cool completely overnight and removed it the next morning. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
11. I think a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whip cream would be lovely with this cake. David recommends whipped cream, ice cream or fruit compote. His book has a recipe for a raspberry plum compote.

The Food Librarian blog:
Recipe & Photo on the Food Librarian blog (May 1, 2010):
David Lebovitz's book: Ready for Dessert