Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sapelo Island Hard Time Cake.


Sometimes I take for granted what a luxury it is to bake.  Baking ingredients aren't a necessity like vegetables and fruit are for healthy, substantial meals.  Butter, sugar, flour, chocolate, nuts - these ingredients are an indulgence to keep in the cupboard and sometimes it takes an unfortunate instance to bring us back to reality.  It's not that anything earth-shattering happened but last night before bed I thought "Hmm, brown butter blondies with toasted coconut, dried pears and pistachios... "  So this morning I woke up, made a batch, portioned them into mini cupcake pans (because I apparently have to make everything miniature), put them in the oven and you know what happened?  The tops expanded and became crispy and dark while the insides sunk and were raw in the middle.  I couldn't bear to throw them away, so they're sitting on a piece of foil right now, waiting to be dealt with.  Blondie cake balls, anyone?

I didn't want to waste more butter, eggs, nuts and sugar today.  I figured I'd just stay frugal and bake this cake I remembered reading about when I first bought this book a couple years ago - no sugar, just 1 tablespoon of butter, and no eggs.  It's extremely easy to mix and put together and although it doesn't look as nice as I imagined my mini blondies to come out, the homey gingerbread-like taste definitely makes up for it.  I substituted 1/2 cup honey for half of the molasses and dusted the top with some powdered sugar, but it doesn't need it!  And anyway, how could you not want to make a cake that has this in the description?: "Cornelia Walker Bailey, author of God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man, remembers her mother stirring up a pan of hard time cake, creating a delicious and nourishing treat for her family out of what she had handy: molasses, flour, spices, a dab of butter, and an abundance of love." <3 :)

This cake was perfect for a rainy Wednesday with a cup of tea.  Lightly spiced, soft and comforting.

Sapelo Island Hard Time Cake
Adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease a 9" cake pan or square pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combined the flour, cinnamon and cloves and mix with a fork.  Add the molasses and melted butter and use a large spoon to mix into a smooth batter.  Stir the baking soda into the warm water and then add it to the flour mixture, stirring until you have a smooth and thin batter.  Quickly pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.  The cake should be very golden brown on top with a slight shine and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when it's done.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack or kitchen towel before serving.  Store leftover cake, wrapped in plastic, up to 3 days.

11 comments:

  1. Hi! I found your blog through a comment on mine, and I've really enjoyed looking through your lovely collection of recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely LOVE the idea of this cake... and I love that it has a story! Beautiful! Do you suppose I could replace all of the molasses with honey? I don't get molasses where I live...

    Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I definitely think you could replace all the molasses with honey! It will be lighter in color but will still have a lovely flavor. Let me know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. this sounds like a down to earth, rich, sweet spice scented cake. just the kind of cake that I like to eat.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know exactly what you mean about the heartbreak involved when a recipe doesnt work out! I can totally feel the love coming from this cake. Making use of only the simplest ingredients to make a cakeful of love. I like that. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks wonderful. Don't you love NM's recipes. Her cakes are especially good. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate when that happens! I learned not to use whole fresh strawberries in cupcakes last week when they leaked out all their juice and then completely collapsed into weird mushy bundles in cave-like holes. They got eaten, but it was still sad. I did the same thing as you, I set them aside and made something much simpler to restore the balance. That cake looks really good and I love that the sweetness comes mostly from honey and molasses. I'm curious about where it got it's name.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry to hear about your strawberry mishap! Sapelo Island is located off the east coast of Georgia and since the cake is from a southern cakes book, I imagine it originated there as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. VIRUS REMOVAL

    Is Your Computer Sluggish or Plagued With a Virus? – If So you Need Online Tech Repairs
    As a leader in online computer repair, Online Tech Repairs Inc has the experience to deliver professional system optimization and virus removal.Headquartered in Great Neck, New York our certified technicians have been providing online computer repair and virus removal for customers around the world since 2004.
    Our three step system is easy to use; and provides you a safe, unobtrusive, and cost effective alternative to your computer service needs. By using state-of-the-art technology our computer experts can diagnose, and repair your computer system through the internet, no matter where you are.
    Our technician will guide you through the installation of Online Tech Repair Inc secure software. This software allows your dedicated computer expert to see and operate your computer just as if he was in the room with you. That means you don't have to unplug everything and bring it to our shop, or have a stranger tramping through your home.
    From our remote location the Online Tech Repairs.com expert can handle any computer issue you want addressed, like:
    • - System Optimization
    • - How it works Software Installations or Upgrades
    • - How it works Virus Removal
    • - How it works Home Network Set-ups
    Just to name a few.
    If you are unsure of what the problem may be, that is okay. We can run a complete diagnostic on your system and fix the problems we encounter. When we are done our software is removed; leaving you with a safe, secure and properly functioning system. The whole process usually takes less than an hour. You probably couldn't even get your computer to your local repair shop that fast!
    Call us now for a FREE COMPUTER DIAGONISTIC using DISCOUNT CODE (otr214423@gmail.com) on +1-914-613-3786 or chat with us on www.onlinetechrepairs.com.

    ReplyDelete

  10. Problem: HP Printer not connecting to my laptop.

    I had an issue while connecting my 2 year old HP printer to my brother's laptop that I had borrowed for starting my own business. I used a quick google search to fix the problem but that did not help me.

    I then decided to get professional help to solve my problem. After having received many quotations from various companies, i decided to go ahead with Online Tech Repair (www.onlinetechrepairs.com).

    Reasons I chose them over the others:
    1) They were extremely friendly and patient with me during my initial discussions and responded promptly to my request.
    2) Their prices were extremely reasonable.
    3) They were ready and willing to walk me through the entire process step by step and were on call with me till i got it fixed.

    How did they do it
    1) They first asked me to state my problem clearly and asked me a few questions. This was done to detect any physical connectivity issues with the printer.
    2) After having answered this, they confirmed that the printer and the laptop were functioning correctly.
    3) They then, asked me if they could access my laptop remotely to troubleshoot the problem and fix it. I agreed.
    4) One of the tech support executives accessed my laptop and started troubleshooting.
    5) I sat back and watched as the tech support executive was navigating my laptop to spot the issue. The issue was fixed.
    6) I was told that it was due to an older version of the driver that had been installed.

    My Experience
    I loved the entire friendly conversation that took place with them. They understood my needs clearly and acted upon the solution immediately. Being a technical noob, i sometimes find it difficult to communicate with tech support teams. It was a very different experience with the guys at Online Tech Repairs. You can check out their website www.onlinetechrepairs.com or call them on 1-914-613-3786.
    Would definitely recommend this service to anyone who needs help fixing their computers.
    Thanks a ton guys. Great Job....!!

    ReplyDelete