by Dorie Greenspan
This Tuesdays with Dorie snuck up on me. How did it get here so fast? It was Monday before I realized I still needed to bake these. I just wasn't into baking and blogging this day, which shows in the pictures, especially the final product - not what I had envisioned anyway.
This is one of those recipes I don't know if I really like or not; like the first time I made kale chips. Where at first bite you think hmmm it's OK - yet you keep eating more hoping to find that taste sensation that will hopefully knock your socks off, or at least wow you somewhat. The kale chips grew on me - these however did not.
The recipe calls for minced fresh ginger (as well as dried) which I did not care for. I did not like that it would stick to my teeth and make me feel like I'm biting down on something that should not be there. If I were to make these again (which I'm not) I would use ginger juice instead. You just grate your ginger and press through a fine sieve (or squeeze the pulp with your fingers) to extract the juice. This I just learned from Grace Young's Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge.
Maybe if they were called molasses baby cakes, because that is all I could taste, my perception would have been different. The molasses overpowers the ginger and there is not even a hint of espresso flavor. There are several chocolate recipes that call for a small amount of espresso which will enhance the flavor of chocolate, but not necessarily give you a coffee flavor. However this recipe called for a whole quarter cup! I thought for sure there would be a hint of joe in these little cakes.
If molasses is your thing - these cakes are for you! Don't get me wrong, I like molasses; I was just expecting more of a ginger flavor. I guess I have been spoiled by the delicious gingerbread my friend makes every year at Christmas.
Success meter (1-3): 2
Dried pears reconstituted in apple juice for decoration.
Yep - that's black pepper you see. This too was unnoticeable due to the overpowering flavor of the molasses.
One jar of molasses yields one and a half cups. This made me one half cup shy of the two cups called for in the recipe. I made up the difference with Lyle's Golden Syrup.
As with making cookies, beat your sugar and butter till light and fluffy.
Adding the exorbitant amount of molasses.
Fold in the dry ingredients.
I adorned two cakes with a star on top, two cakes with stars on the bottom, and left two plain.
I was hoping that the stars on top would have risen with the batter - not the case.
This one was baked in a glass ramekin. Not looking so very pretty.
I just love paper pans - especially for gift giving.
The cakes had wonderful texture. Soft, chewy, and moist. The section with pear helped tame the boldness of the molasses. These cakes would benefit with diced pear throughout.
If I had more time I would have adorned the cakes with a chocolate (or mango! mmm...) sauce and diced pears.
You can find the recipe for these baby cakes on Karen's blog ,our host this week.
Do venture over to Tuesdays with Dorie to see what others have done with this recipe.