Cholly’s World-Famous Gingerbread Cake
1 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs Unsweetened cocoa and/or powdered sugar (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional), rinsed
- In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in molasses and baking soda. After mixture stops foaming, stir in 1/2 cup cold water; let cool to room temperature, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs until blended. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add flour and molasses mixtures alternately until incorporated, then beat on high speed until well blended. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch square pan.
- Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until a toothpick inserted in center of thickest part comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack at least 1 1/4 hours.
- Pour about 1/4 cup crème anglaise onto each plate. Cut cake into pieces (see notes) and set them in sauce on plates. If desired, lightly sift cocoa and/or powdered sugar over each plate and garnish with a mint sprig. Offer remaining crème anglaise to add to taste.