Baby, it’s cold outside. Yesterday was clear and still and freezing, with an impeccable blue sky above. Last night the mercury dropped into the low teens here on the farm and this morning we woke up to dangerous sleety drizzle. Tomorrow night is the longest of our year. So we light up our trees and windows and menorahs against the darkness. Let’s wrap gifts, watch movies, have a cup of cocoa and bake something cozy. I had all the ingredients I needed in the pantry for a simple cake and the idea of a thick, square, molasses-infused slice topped with egg nog ice cream was too good to resist. I was right. The cake is super gooey and comforting and smooths out the booze in the ice cream. It’s exactly what we all need right now. Stay inside, where it’s warm and dry, there’s one more long night before winter.
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
- 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Butter an 8 x 8 inch square pan and preheat the oven to 325. In a small saucepan, melt butter into water. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper, pour in melted butter, molasses and egg. Stir until well combined, pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with powdered sugar and ice cream.