Thursday, March 13, 2008

This Is Not Chocolate Cake

But it sure does look like it, doesn't it? There's not a bit of chocolate in this Sticky Teff-Kissed Spice Loaf. The dark color comes from blackstrap molasses, super-thick and bittersweet. I love this cake. I've made it a few times and each time it's a winner. Sweet but not overly so, and a little spicy, thanks to ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves, plus some fresh grated ginger. The other secret ingredient is teff flour, a very nutritious whole grain flour. Compared to other grains, teff has a much larger percentage of bran and germ so it's a very good source of dietary fiber, protein and iron. Of course, I probably counteract all the health benefits but eating the cake with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

The recipe makes two loaves, so I shared one from this recent batch with my friend Deena. Make some for you and a friend today.--S

Sticky Teff-Kissed Spice Loaves

2 c whole-wheat pastry flour
1 c brown teff flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t fine-grain sea salt
2 t ground ginger
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
1 c unsalted butter
1/2 c water
3/4 c blackstrap molasses
3/4 c honey
1 c natural cane sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c milk
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Freshly whipped cream, for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 325 and position the racks in the middle of the oven. Butter and flour two 8x4-in. loaf pans, tapping out any extra flour.
2. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves and whisk to combine.
3. Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until well-blended. Pour into a large bowl and let cool until it isn't hot on your tongue when you're sneaking a taste. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then the milk. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the dry ingredients in 3 increments. You might have a few lumps, but resist overmixing. Fold in the grated ginger.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until loosely set in the center. Don't overbake or you'll lose much of the signature stickiness. Let cool in the pan. Slice and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.

NB: These cakes keep beautifully in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also freeze well double-bagged in plastic with the air pressed out.

Recipe courtesy of Super Natural Cooking

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