I don’t always make a dessert for Shabbat, but sometimes Mr. BT requests something a little sweet. I haven’t made anything with molasses in years, in fact, I think it was when I was a child and I helped my mother make and decorate gingerbread men for a holiday party at my school. The supermarket near my home had regular and robust molasses for sale. I was a bit surprised since most of the people who shop there are Yemenite, but maybe they make something with molasses that I don’t know about.
Mr. BT was not too excited about anything with molasses, so I had to find something that would appeal to his love of anything ginger. I found an interesting recipe for Molasses Crumb Cake from the King Arthur Flour website. Usually their recipes are a bit too American for my taste, but every once in a while they surprise me with an interesting recipe. The cake is a one bowl cake that is perfect to make on short Fridays during the winter. It is moist and has a burst of spiciness that made Mr BT say “Yum!” A half recipe turned out fine.
Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
220g (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, cold and cut into 2-1/2 cm (1-inch) pieces
1 cup robust molasses
2 large eggs
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and flour 22cm x 33 cm (9x13-inch) pan.
Mix the flour, sugar, and ginger in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, like coarse cornmeal. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Add the molasses, eggs, water, and baking soda to the remaining crumb mixture and hand-whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool to lukewarm before serving.