Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ginger Crumb Cake and Thankfulness

I just returned from teaching a cooking and tea class at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  This is my third year to teach there and it is always wonderful each time.  The staff is great, the Viking kitchen is amazing, and Caroline in the coffee/tea department does a spectacular job prepping all the teas to serve with the recipes I demo.  If you live in or around Chapel Hill, you will want to stop in, but be prepared to spend some time!

The theme for this class was Tea Around the World-Taste Tea and Food from Around the Globe.  The recipes were all from my book, The World in Your Teacup. We traveled to China, Morocco, France, and ended our journey in England.  For England, I chose to demo my great grandmother's recipe that has been passed down in my family.  The recipe card I have is in my grandma's handwriting as my great grandmother shared it with her to bake, then she shared it with my mom, and my mom shared it with me. Now, I can share it with my family and all of you!

My great grandma Effie Johnson lost her mom at a young age and had to help at home a lot more after that.  She learned how to cook and bake.  When she finished school, she left home and worked as a live-in for several wealthy families as a cook of which one of them was an English doctor until she married in her mid-twenties. This is one of her recipes. It would make a good tea bread for in the morning or to serve as dessert after your Thanksgiving meal.  This will be our family's Thanksgiving dessert this year!

Crumb Ginger Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Fresh whipped cream to serve with cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles the consistency of cornmeal. You may also use a food processor and pulse slowly until mixture is the desired consistency. Take out 1 cup of mixture and set aside for topping. Add soda, salt, egg, molasses, vanilla, and buttermilk to the remaining mixture. Mix well with an electric mixer or by hand. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and pour the batter into it. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is set. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.

I would suggest pairing it with a Chinese Black Keemun.  The light smokey and sweet flavor of the Keemun compliments the ginger/cinnamon spices of this subtle sweet cake!

We have a tradition at my house growing up and now I have passed on this tradition with my family.  Before we eat, each person at the table says what they are most thankful for in the past year.  It can be more than one thing, but each person has to share at least one thing.  It is a way of stopping for a moment to remember the spirit of Thanksgiving. 

This year I have so much to be thankful for.  My faith grows stronger through the challenges life offers, my husband and children bring such love into my life and home, and I love my job of teaching, inspiring, and exciting others about tea.  I am THRILLED to share with you that I have been contracted to write my third book on tea with Chronicle Books.  It is a new publisher for me and the book will out Spring of 2013!!!! 

What are you most thankful for this year? 

Happy Sipping, Eating, and Thanksgiving, Lisa

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