Ginger Cake

So I’m going to go ahead and admit my baking disaster. Ginger cake did me in.

The recipe came from Baking Boot Camp: Five Days of Basic Training at the Culinary Institute of America. The book was very interesting, although I did have some real complaints about it. But the baked goods sounded wonderful, so I started with a quick bread/cake.

The recipe was easy, although my batter was never as smooth as it claimed it should be, but I knew that I’d creamed the butter and sugar well so that wasn’t the problem. I gave up on getting it very smooth, not wanting to overmix it once the flour was added.

But that wasn’t the real problem. The real problem is that either my loaf pan isn’t really 9-inches like I thought, or else the recipe doesn’t really fit in a 9-inch loaf pan because it overflowed a LOT. And in my defense, other recipes that I thought called for a 9-inch pan have worked just fine, although I will admit to not carefully checking, and maybe all my previous quick bread recipes have needed an 8-inch pan and that’s what I’ve got. Lesson learned. Measure the pan unless you’re absolutely certain. And pay attention when you pour the batter in and think “wow, that’s really full.” Perhaps that should be a little nudge to verify pan size and/or pull some batter out and make muffins with it or something. Sheesh, you’d think I was a blonde or something.

Behold, the evidence once it finally seemed to be mostly cooked.

A closeup of the side of the pan.

I didn’t think to photo the overflow in the oven. Fortunately I always keep a rimmed cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to catch spills like that.

It’s not going to win any beauty contests, that’s for sure, but the more important thing is the taste, and in that I again thought the recipe fell short. It had a half cup of molasses and it was just almost overwhelmingly strong.

I’ve got a couple more recipes I want to try from the cookbook but it’s strike one against it so far.


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