30 November 2009

Recipe: Gingerbread Pudding Cake

There was a time when Land O'Lakes used to publish a recipe pamphlet that was sold at the supermarket checkout stand. As employees, we sometimes would receive complimentary copies. I eventually accumulated quite a collection. The recipes were thoroughly tested with clear, precise directions. I don't know if they were foolproof. But they were pretty reliable.

My kids loved them, especially my daughter. When she got her first apartment in college, we gave her several of them, at her request. She always said that she loved them because they always turned out. They helped give her the confidence to be a creative cook in her own right.

I don't know if Land O'Lakes publishes any recipe books anymore. If they do, employees don't have a chance to get copies at the office. But it's probably a moot point because the company has a very comprehensive recipe collection on the web site.

My wife and I spent Thanksgiving with my daughter and her husband in Chicago. We had our Thanksgiving meal with my son-in-law's family. My daughter made two recipes for the meal. Both were from old Land O'Lakes recipe books, and both are available online. One was an artichoke dip. The other, below, is a gingerbread pudding cake.

I decided to post the cake recipe because I thought the preparation technique was so unusual. After spreading the gingerbread mixture in the bottom of the baking dish, the recipe calls for pouring a cup of water and melted butter over the batter before baking. Honestly, I was skeptical of the result. But it turned out fabulous. Somehow the liquid absorbed into the cake to produce a light, tender, moist dessert. The tip with the recipe suggests serving with pumpkin ice cream. For our Thanksgiving dinner, we had whipped cream. Since I'm not a big fan of pumpkin, I thought that was much better.

So here's the recipe.


Preparation time: 30 min Baking time: 40 min

Yield: 12 servings

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup mild flavor molasses

1 cup water

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups hot water

1/3 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Beat, alternately adding flour mixture with molasses and 1 cup water, beating after each addition only until blended. Pour batter into ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan; sprinkle with 3/4 cup brown sugar.

Combine 1 1/2 cups hot water and 1/3 cup melted butter in medium bowl; carefully pour over top of batter. (Do not stir.) Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until gingerbread is cracked on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

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