I’ve been bedridden since Monday and probably will have to stay put for another day or two—I had another epidural steroid shot this week and man, oh, man I do not fare well with those shots. I can’t stand up straight, can’t lie anyways but flat on my back, and certainly can’t cook.
I’m thankful, however, for a few things that are getting me through it all: Jimmy has been wonderful–waiting on me hand and foot. And to stop from being insanely bored, I spent a lot of time futzing around with the HTML of the site and am quite pleased with the new Caviar and Codfish layout (please let me know what you think!). Then there’s the handful of recipe posts that I’ve got sitting on the back burner, just waiting to be written and the photos to be uploaded. These posts (along-with a few Tivo’d cooking shows—Jamie at Home, Mexico: One Plate at a Time—that I haven’t had the time to watch until now) should keep me busy. And finally, there’s gingerbread. I knew that after my shot, the chances of being laid out were pretty great, so I made sure to bake something this weekend. And something is right. This gingerbread is warm, spicy, and not too sweet—the perfect treat to get me through.
While this gingerbread is certainly healing, I can also imagine it for a sophisticated tea-party treat. Less sweet than your holiday gingerbread, using only a small amount of brown sugar and molasses, this cake focuses more on buttery moistness and its dominating fresh ginger flavor. The pear to use in this cake should be firm but fragrant, so it keeps its shape while baking but also has a sweet pear taste. Pair it with a nice oolong, break out your good tea set, and you’ve got the blueprint for a perfect, breezy autumn afternoon.
Dark Gingerbread Pear Cake
Makes one 9-in cake//from Gourmet, October ’08
Anyone notice the picture of this cake in Gourment Magazine? It was a flat cake with the pear bits on the bottom – not how the cake comes out when made according to the magazine’s directions. What’s up with that? Am I missing something?
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup grated peeled ginger
- 1 Bosc pear
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, knocking out excess. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Melt butter with water.
Beat together brown sugar and molasses with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Add butter mixture and ginger, beating just until smooth. Pour into cake pan.
Peel pear and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Scatter over batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly.