Irish Black Ginger Cake

This is an excellent cake for fall if you want something with a bigger bolder flavor than Ginger BreadSpiced Teacake, or Buckwheat Sourdough Spice Cake. It goes good with strong black tea (like P.G. Tips or Brodies of Edinburgh’s Scottish Breakfast) or coffee (it has coffee in it). It also goes well with strong black beers like porters and stouts. This past weekend I had the Wasatch Pumpkin Ale on tap and the spice in it had me wishing for gingerbread to go with it, and made me think of this Irish Black Ginger Cake which I haven’t made in a few years. I can’t say for certain that this beer would go with this cake, not having had them side by side, but you get the idea: any strong black liquid is a potential pairing for this cake. A word of warning, before you spring this delicious confection on your friends: not everyone will be on board for with the flavor of this cake. It gets its strong flavor from blackstrap molasses. It’s really, really, really a blackstrap molasses cake. People either love it, or they’ll give you a forced smile and discreetly throw out their piece. But the people who love this cake really love it!! And I guess you know by now I’m one of the ones who really love it. 🙂

If the idea of blackstrap scares you off, you would probably be better off just baking gingerbread or some other spice cake (see links above) instead of trying to alter the recipe. I substituted regular molasses for the blackstrap once and the result was disappointing. It wasn’t nearly as good as gingerbread is, nor was it a very good molasses cake. So, if you’re going to make this, stick to the recipe. And serve it with strong black coffee, strong black tea, or strong black beer.

I found a recipe online which is exactly the same as the recipe I use, except suggesting fresh ginger as possible alternate for ground ginger. I always use ground ginger and think that grated fresh would substantially alter the recipe. I’d recommend making the cake with ground ginger to see if you like the flavor in general before doing any substitutions.

I bake the cake in an 8″ x 8″ pan and do not put any icing on it.

Irish Black Ginger Cake  — Enjoy!

Boiled Raisin Cake

boiled raisin cake 1

Boiled raisin cake is a Christmas staple in our house.  My Aunt Connie wrote out the recipe when she was twelve years old and gave it to my mom who has been making this cake ever since.  (Family trivia:  the recipe from Aunt Connie is still tucked away in one of my mother’s cookbooks.)  If you celebrate the twelve days of Christmas as do those of us living in this part of the world, you still have plenty of time to make it; after all, Christmas is not over until 06 January!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Earth Balance butter
  • 2 cups sugar (organic)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups raisins

 

  • 3 cups of flour (all-purpose or spelt)
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Combine first six ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Place the hot saucepan in a sink of cold water to cool.  Add the flour and baking soda.  Pour into a greased tube pan and bake at 300 degrees (F) for 2 hours.

boiled raisin cake 2

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When left out for Santa, this cake is traditionally served with strawberry Purity syrup, a thick and very sweet syrup that is mixed with water.  Santa loves it!