Sunday, October 9, 2011

Molasses Cake

Sharing Failures as well as Success- You never know when you might be in a situation where you won't have the luxury of boxed cake mixes, fresh produce or cases and cases of beautifully packaged, precooked meals to pop into your microwave oven. I have decided to occasionally try recipes from the past, ones that use limited ingredients. I took out Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food that we picked up on a trip we took several years ago as we traveled from St Louis down to Mississippi, stopping at Vicksburg and Natchez. The Molasses Cake looked pretty good, so that's the one.

I got the ingredients ready, following the directions as written.

Everything is going well and I put it in the oven at 375 degrees and set the timer for 50 minutes.

When I checked back, with 10 minutes left to go on the timer, the cake was burning. The sides had drawn in and were starting to blacken. And 10 minutes yet to go on the timer!

I quickly pulled it out to see if I could save even a little of it. It's pretty dry, but I don't know exactly how moist it would have been; however, it's way too done, burnt to a crisp on the bottom. If you cut that part off and take a taste it would be similar to gingerbread, probably not too bad if it wasn't burnt.

I have to say 375 seemed a bit hot to me, or at least a bit hot if you're baking it for 50 minutes. There's a misprint somewhere. I checked newer recipes and they all call for 325 - 350 and less time. The lesson here, don't walk away and rely on a timer when making a new recipe, particularly one that is from the 1800s.


Lisa said...

This happens to me too! I fail quite often when trying new recipes. But I don't' give up and neither should you! I LOVE molasses and there must be a way to bake that cake. Keep trying and post your success!

Unknown said...

Chicken feed!
I wonder if the molasses had something to do with it burning quickly, though I agree, 375 seems hot. I always wonder with old recipes like this how they figured out the right temperature with a wood stove.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I'm going to get some more molasses and give it another try, but this time at about 350, and I will check it frequently! There's also a molasses taffy recipe that might be interesting to try sometime.

Candy C. said...

I love molasses too, let us know how the second try turns out! It is always a challenge when making a new recipe for sure!

debbie said...

This sounds really good. Did you use powdered ginger or fresh? I've been trying to find old cookbooks, preferably from the depression era, for the same reason. The "Foxfire" series is great for not only recipes, but LIFE! And I love the Youtube series "Depression Cooking with Clara". She's a hoot!

dr momi said... you have me hungry for molasses cake :-)

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I did use powdered ginger. I used to keep fresh in the freezer but not for a few years. I wonder why not? Maybe we used to make more oriental food.

I love the Depression cooking too. We have the Foxfire books. I'll have to pull them out of the attic. That's our plan tomorrow. Once every year or so we go through the attic (It's a real one) and throw away some of the things we thought we couldn't live without- really it's me, not my husband, he can throw out almost anything.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

If anyone has problems commenting- try using Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer. When I am using explorer I have problems too.

3rnigerians said...

The recipe sounds great. I love molasses. You'll get it. I sometimes struggle with new recipes too, I wonder if my oven's thermostat is off, because things take me longer to cook than most recipes call for. Lol. Thanks for the 411 on the Chrome v. Explorer issue. I use Chrome. I stopped using Explorer because of problems viewing blogs.