This gingerbread has a more bready consistency than most. It may have something to do with one of its ingredients, cooked potato. The recipe came about yesterday, trying to find just the right proportion of ingredients that would result in a gingerbread as tasty as my mother once made, and which had included potato. I remember feeling disappointed that she had not kept the recipe. No need for disappointment; the following is just as delicious as I remember.
|Flour, All Purpose, Unbleached
|MilkScant; I use whole milk, but a lower fat choice should work as well.
|Cider VinegarOther vinegars would work.
|Cinnamon, GroundCould use a little more
|Dark Brown Sugar
|Potatoes, WhiteMedium, unskinned
|To prepare: Cut up potato into one quarter inch dice and place chunks in small sauce pan with just enough water to barely cover. Gently simmer the potato until the water evaporates; I even let the potato brown slightly on the bottom. Mash the potato, even a fork will do, until it's quite smooth. Set aside in pan.
|Grease and flour a nine inch square pan.
|Get the ingredients out so that they can reach room temperature.
|Measure milk and add vinegar. Leave this out, even up to a few hours, so that the milk is soured. You could also use already soured milk.
|Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
|Measure the flour into a bowl. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk together to combine and break up any little clumps.
|Mix together the molasses and potato until well-combined.
|In a good sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until these are well-incorparated and fluffy.
|Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each one, and then the vanilla.
|Alternately mix in the milk/molasses mixture and the combined dry ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. I do this with a large wooden spoon. It's important not to overmix at this point. After adding the last of the dry ingredients, continue mixing just until the ingredients are homogeneous.
|Pour gently the batter into the baking pan.
|Bake for 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for five more minutes.
|A note on the baking time: I use a convection oven. It's possible you may need an extra five minutes or so if using a conventional oven. For me the most difficult part of baking a cake is knowing when to take it out of the oven. Just a few minutes on either side can mean either a fallen cake or a dry one. One test is to touch the top with your index finger. It should give just a little. Also, you'll hear just a hint of the air bubbles popping, those bubbles providing the lift and softness of the cake's texture.
|Practice makes perfect.