Eat Gingerbread Cake
The book Eat Cake is probably not the best book to read if you are trying to improve your diet but we read it for book club and I really enjoyed the story. But be forewarned she does talk about a lot of different really yummy sounding cakes! Really it was a story about how doing what you love can be a way to make a living too. It was a fun story about a crazy family dealing with issues ranging from unemployment, dealing with aging parents and teenagers, and learning to believe in yourself. I highly recommend it as a not too intense, yet thought provoking read.
And if you are looking for a wonderful holiday cake the Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake in the book would be a really good choice. It isn’t super loaded with sugar and I used Spelt flour instead of regular (you could use whole wheat too). Many of the book club members brought different cakes the night of our book club discussion and this cake was a real hit. It was easy to make and delicious as well as beautiful.
Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake
2 and 1/2 firm pears (preferable Bosc), sliced
1/2 stick (4T) unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 and 1/2 cups AP flour (12.5 oz) – I used Spelt flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup molasses (mild, like Grandma’s)
1 cup boiling water
1 stick (1/2 cup or 8 Tb) butter, soft
1/2 cup light brown sugar
- You will need a 10″ cast iron skillet or a non-stick 10″ skillet that is oven proof to 350 degrees.
2. First, we need to make the topping. In the skillet you will be baking the cake in, melt the butter.
3. Over low heat, sprinkle the brown sugar all over the pan evenly and allow to melt without stirring for 2-3 minutes. Next, lay the pears down into the sugar mixture and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Whisk Together in a medium bowl the dry stuff: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
6. Whisk together in a small bowl: molasses and boiling water
7. In your large mixing bowl: beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add your egg and incorporate that in.
8. Now alternate adding the flour mixture and molasses mixture in on low speed. Remember that in general you always start and end with the flour mixture.
9. Pour this cake batter on top of the pears in the skillet. Spread evenly.
10. Bake 40-50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes to allow the cake to contract a little.
11. Run your knife along the edge of the cake to help it release. Then take a really large plate and put it over the skillet to flip the cake onto the plate.
12. If some of the pears stick to the skillet, simply and carefully replace them.
Recipe from the back of “Eat Cake” – a novel by Jeanne Ray