So for this party I'm making a dessert. There were many good options when I queried my friends about their favorites. In fact I made one last night (Lime Posset - and you can bet that is going to grace one of my dinner parties this fall - see post below).
The ginger cake tickled my fancy because of the unique ingredients. There is even black pepper in the batter and of course fresh chopped ginger. I think lemon curd would be fabulous on top. I understand from Diane any fresh fruit with real whipped cream does the trick.
Below is Diane's recipe. I am waiting for it to come out of the oven as I type. It will still be warm when I arrive. Which might mean digging into it sooner rather than later!
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup molasses
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup water
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, grated, and finely chopped (from a 4-inch piece)
* 2 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and flour; set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper in a medium bowl to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together molasses, sugar, and oil. (I find it's best to measure in the oil, then use the same measuring cup for the molasses -- it will slide right out because of the slight residue left by the oil)
3. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan, stir in baking soda, and remove from heat and add ginger, then mix into molasses mixture.
4. Gradually stir dry ingredients into batter. Add eggs and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.
Here are some photos. To see the whole photo, please click on them.
(NUMBER EIGHTEEN in 2010)