Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Ginger Cake

Servings: 12
This cake is best served warm, and it's tempting to eat some as soon as it comes out of the oven. However, as the cake sits, the flavors continue to develop. If possible, bake the cake in advance, then reheat the entire cake or individual slices just before serving.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
3 eggs
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup caramel sauce
1 cup heavy cream whipped with 1 tbsp. sugar

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch cake pan.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the molasses and beat until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the boiling water and beginning and ending with the flour, until smooth and no lumps of flour remain.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a spatula, spread the batter evenly to the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

In a small saucepan over low heat, gently warm the caramel sauce, stirring often; do not boil. Drizzle warm pieces of cake with caramel sauce and top each with a dollop of whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

Date: January 17, 2004