Today my Spice It Up! kiddos and I traveled, via tabletop, to the Moluccas. We looked at nutmeg, mace, cloves, and pepper...and we baked Piernik, a gingerbread cake from Poland.
I employed a new strategy: I put all of the steps - measurements required, mixing, etc. - on pieces of paper and had each student pick one. That was their task. If they finished, and there were still more tasks to complete, they could pick another. This alleviated the constant barage of 'What can I do?!'s that I had last week. Anything that reduces my stress level in directing a dozen kids to make a single dish is a good thing.
Some kids ground mace. Other ground nutmeg. Some measured sugar. And others whipped the cream to finish the cake. Good teamwork!
For the Cake
spray vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 -1/2 C white whole wheat flour
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground mace
12 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t fleur de sel
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2' pieces
1/2 C organic coconut sugar
1/2 C blackstrap molasses
1 large egg, beaten
2 t fresh, minced ginger
For the Topping
1 C chilled organic heavy whipping cream
1 T organic powdered sugar
Finely grated lemon zest
To Make the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with vegetable oil. Line bottom with parchment paper; spray paper with oil.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices together in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over and whisk until melted.
Whisk in sugar, molasses, egg, and fresh ginger. Add dry ingredients; blend with a spatula. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean - 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert and remove parchment.
Beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spread over cake. Garnish with zest.
Some of the comments: "Wow, this tastes good...even though there is no chocolate in it." Can I take some home to my mom and dad?!? "This tastes like the holidays." One thing - I didn't get to try it! I guess I'll have to make another cake this weekend...just to try it. It smelled amazing. But, I am a gingerbread fanatic. Case in point: not only did we bake the piernik, I also brought in honningkagehjerter (Danish gingerbread cookies).