We’ve been experimenting with cooking and baking on the Ironheart woodstove this winter, and have assembled a list of tried and true recipes that are working for us. One of these is a recipe for gingerbread, the cake that is. With a cooking time of just 25 minutes, this is a cake that’s easily done in a woodstove, where regulating temperature is more work (ie it requires attention) than a conventional oven.
This particular recipe is one that I based on several recipes for gingerbread that I’ve used over the years, and then tweaked to personal taste and the needs of the woodstove. I never add salt when baking. The bundt pan was chosen as the cake bakes more evenly in the woodstove in this type of pan; with a round or square pan, the centre doesn’t always bake as evenly as it should.
Ironheart Gingerbread Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups spelt flour (unbleached flour would work too)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup milk
Step 1 – Get woodstove to the lower end of the ‘Very Hot’ range on the dial (for conventional bakers, this is about 350 degrees fahrenheit)
Step 2 – Combine softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together
Step 3 – Add egg and molasses and combine
Step 4 – Add dry ingredients and mix briefly until incorporated
Step 5 – Pour into a prepared baking pan (a bundt pan is preferable)
Step 6 – Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until top springs back gently when touched; it’s important not too overbake this cake and to err on the side of ever-so-slightly underdone as it will finish up in the pan
This cake is very nice served with lemon sauce, but tonight I was craving something different and turned to a stovetop frosting from a favourite old cookbook. It worked incredibly well and got the thumbs up from family members. It’s from Fresh from the Country by Susan Restino. I’ve modified the method a bit: Restino’s recipe calls for a double boiler, but I’ve used the same method in a saucepan without the boiling water underneath with the same results.
Coconut butterscotch topping
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
3 tbsp milk
Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut, nuts and milk. Stir continuously for approximately five minutes. Spread on cooled cake at once and cool before serving. Covers 1 layer cake, top and sides.
I don’t have a picture with the topping on the cake, as this shot was taken the last time I made the recipe. Think I’ve got a winner here as oldest son just walked into the room saying “Need more tasty cake!” and grabbed another slice.