Saturday, January 31, 2009

Moving On Up

We're moving in a few weeks (our new kitchen rules!), and in preparation, I have begun Operation Clean Out the Pantry. Somehow I don't think it's going to be as much fun as Operation Clean Out the Shoe Collection. But anyway. Last night I used up some soba noodles, riffing on that delicious Otsu recipe from last summer. Today's special: blackstrap molasses.

While searching for a recipe in which to use it, I tried to remember what I'd bought it for in the first place. I'm pretty sure it was for Sticky Teff-Kissed Spice Loaves, a deliciously sweet and spicy cake. Turns out that the recipe I decided to make today, a Ginger Cake from Gourmet, is pretty similar. I guess blackstrap molasses have a way of dominating. Which is fine with me, so long as it's cooked, because while stinky and gross out of the bottle, this kind of molasses gets a deep, rich flavor after some time in the oven.

It's a fairly straightforward cake recipe, with flour (I used two cups of regular flour and one cup of sprouted wheat flour--score one more item out of the pantry!), butter, brown sugar, eggs and baking soda. Then, lots of powdered ginger--I grated a dried ginger root I got from a friend who went to India--plus some cinnamon.

After an hour in the oven and some cooling time, this cake was great. Using a springform pan resulted in a perfectly crisp crust, crunchier than the teff loaf. They're definitely similar: both dark, moist and deeply flavored. And as far as I can tell, they're the best way to use blackstrap molasses.--S

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