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Old 10-04-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
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Eat Cake Novel - Amazing Gingerbread cake

A few days ago a good friend brought over a cake she made using the the recipe from
the novel, Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray. It was an Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake and the best gingerbread I've had in decades. It's cooked in a 10 " cast iron skillet and uses LOTS of molasses in the recipe. I had her send me the recipe but wonder if anyone has made this cake? She says she has trouble turning it out of the pan - it often sticks. Any suggestions before I get started?


Topping
2½ firm pears (e.g. Bosc)
½ stick butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar

Cake
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten

Make Topping:
Peel and core the pears and cut each into 8 wedges. Melt butter in skillet over
moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, then sprinkle brown
sugar over bottom of skillet and cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes (not all sugar
will be melted). Arrange pears decoratively over sugar and cook, undisturbed,
2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Whisk together
molasses and boiling water in bowl. Beat together butter, brown
sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until
creamy, about 2 minutes, then alternately mix in flour mixture and molasses
in 3 batches until smooth.

Pour batter over topping in skillet, spreading evenly and being careful not to
disturb pears, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 40-
50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around
edge of skillet, then invert onto large plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
A few days ago a good friend brought over a cake she made using the the recipe from
the novel, Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray. It was an Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake and the best gingerbread I've had in decades. It's cooked in a cast iron skillet and uses LOTS of molasses in the recipe. I had her send me the recipe but wonder if anyone has made this cake? She says she has trouble turning it out of the pan - it often sticks. Any suggestions before I get started?


Topping
2½ firm pears (e.g. Bosc)
½ stick butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar

Cake
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten

Make Topping:
Peel and core the pears and cut each into 8 wedges. Melt butter in skillet over
moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, then sprinkle brown
sugar over bottom of skillet and cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes (not all sugar
will be melted). Arrange pears decoratively over sugar and cook, undisturbed,
2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Whisk together
molasses and boiling water in bowl. Beat together butter, brown
sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until
creamy, about 2 minutes, then alternately mix in flour mixture and molasses
in 3 batches until smooth.

Pour batter over topping in skillet, spreading evenly and being careful not to
disturb pears, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 40-
50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around
edge of skillet, then invert onto large plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This isn't kitchen-tested, just a thought -- I wonder if you could prepare the sugar/butter portion in another pan, put a round of parchment (or waxed paper?) in the baking skillet and pour the sugar/butter in, then add the fruit. The parchment might be hard to remove when turned out...is it worth trying? Don't know.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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I don't eat pears, so I'd be tempted to make the cake portion and then serve it with a "compote" of pears for those who eat pears...
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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First let me just say YUM! This cake is fabulous!

Next let me apologize for the photo. I intended to take one of the freshly baked and newly plated cake in all it's dark and spicy glory, but in the 3 minutes it took me to find my camera and some fresh batteries, my family had an uncontrollable urge to hack into the cake and well... you know ;)

Here's a pic:

Click image for larger version

Name:	awesome gingercake.jpg
Views:	181
Size:	136.2 KB
ID:	12169

Some baking notes:

I cooked this in a three inch deep, 10 inch aluminum cake pan (like a cheese cake pan) Don't try a 2 inch deep pan - it will overflow the top.

Despite worrying about sticking it's didn't really but I remembered a trick my mom used on pineapple upside down cake - she used to spin the cake a little in the pan, before unmolding to keep the fruit on the cake - seemed to work.

I can't say enough good about this cake. Dark, sweet, spicy and rich - almost sensual to eat, it needs whipped cream to be perfect. Definitely going in the recipe box.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H
First let me just say YUM! This cake is fabulous!

Next let me apologize for the photo. I intended to take one of the freshly baked and newly plated cake in all it's dark and spicy glory, but in the 3 minutes it took me to find my camera and some fresh batteries, my family had an uncontrollable urge to hack into the cake and well... you know ;)

Here's a pic:

Some baking notes:

I cooked this in a three inch deep, 10 inch aluminum cake pan (like a cheese cake pan) Don't try a 2 inch deep pan - it will overflow the top.

Despite worrying about sticking it's didn't really but I remembered a trick my mom used on pineapple upside down cake - she used to spin the cake a little in the pan, before unmolding to keep the fruit on the cake - seemed to work.

I can't say enough food about this cake. Dark, sweet, spicy and rich - almost sensual to eat, it needs whipped cream to be perfect. Definitely going in the recipe box.
No apologies necessary! I would have hacked too! This looks totally decadent.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:52 PM   #6
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Just go with the picture and say you meant to do it that way. It could be on the cover of a magazine. It looks fantastic. I love that it already has a big piece gone. That tells us how good it really is. Beautiful! I need to try it! Copied and pasted. Thanks.
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