Gingerbread Baby Cakes
I probably should have studied my bottle of molasses before beginning this recipe. The ingredient list called for unsulfured molasses. I quickly ran into Whole Foods and snatched some Blackstrap molasses off the shelves along with some fresh ginger. Little did I know the flavor was much stronger, bitter and less sweet than the Brer Rabbit Mild Molasses in my cupboard which was ALSO unsulfured. Thank goodness I made just half a batch…I know I would love these made with ordinary molasses, but I just didn’t have time for a re-do. I did manage to eat half the baby cake below…it didn’t taste half bad with a big dollop of sweetened whip cream…but I bet I’ll sing another tune with my next attempt.
Candied Orange Peel
I altered the recipe only by leaving out the black pepper (and using the wrong molasses!)…I was planning to send these back to the dorms with my youngest and I knew the college crowd’s palates wouldn’t appreciate the bite of pepper in their dessert. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies were more their speed. I did whip up some candied orange peel for to garnish these mini cakes. I remember my mom making her candied citrus each Christmas, but my sisters and I were not impressed. We, like my son and his friends, were holding out for something less exotic. I guess it took a couple decades for my palate to mature, as this candied peel was excellent and such a gorgeous garnish for these baby cakes.
- 1 large orange, top and bottom trimmed flat (about ¼ inch removed)
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1½ cups water
- Cut through peel from top to bottom to make 4 equal sized segments. Remove peel, including pith, from each quadrant. Cut each piece into ¼ inch strips. Cook in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, then rinse again.
- Bring 1½ cups sugar and 1½ cups water to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add peel and return to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes till peel is soft. Drain.
- Toss peel in the remaining ½ cup sugar, separating strips. Transfer strips to a sheet of foil and let them stand until the coating is dry, 1-2 days. May freeze up to 2 months.
This Tuesdays with Dorie is hosted by Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories…and the recipe can be found on her blog or in Baking with Julia. I’ve shared the orange peel I made for garnishing.