On a few different occasions on the blog I mention that I am in a book club. For our last session I was the host which also meant that I got to select the book we would read & discuss. After much deliberation and researching, I settled on the Kitchen House as our group read. Towards the back of the book there was a recipe for Molasses Cake. A good portion of the book takes place in the Kitchen House along with several scenes depicting large celebratory feasts both inside the "Big House" and out in the field. Throughout the book you will find Belle baking molasses cakes, after writing the book the Author and her daughter perfected what they would like think as Belle's version of molasses cake that she would bake in the book. I would like to share with you my take on this simple & humble cake- not overly sweet but makes for a nice fall treat with a cup of coffee or tea.
The Molasses cake was very rustic, fresh figs with a sprinkling of powdered sugar was the perfect way to soften the rugged perception of the cake. Have I ever told you about my obsession with fresh figs? I would stare longingly at other bloggers with their beautiful posts and pictures featuring fresh figs - after some research I learned that fresh figs do not travel well and are highly perishable, therefore I had lost all hope that I would ever have the privilege of eating a fresh fig in NH. That was until I came across a package of Fresh California Figs at Trader Joe's! Some of you are lucky to live 5 minutes from 10 Trader Joe's- here in New Hampshire, we have 2 and they are both over an hour away from where I love. A trip to Trader Joe's is a truly a special occasion - one that takes place every couple of months.
They were good figs, however I will admit, these fresh figs would never stand a chance against the figs Justin and I
devoured enjoyed while in Mexico. Now those figs were amazing, those of you that live in a region where Figs are available by the bucket-full on every street corner are truly lucky.
In addition to transforming the original recipe to vegan friendly I also added a good helping of coconut flakes and NH Maple Syrup - both were awesome additions and in my opinion make this cake even better than the original. If you are not a fan of coconut or find yourself out, simply omit and bake the cake a written minus the coconut flakes.
Since this cake is not overly sweet, I recommend topping a slice with coconut whipped cream or your favorite vegan ice cream. Justin enjoyed his straight up with a big glass of cold almond milk. You could absolutely pass this off as a breakfast cake too- with very little natural sugars is better for you than most.
What is your favorite "hard to get" ingredient? Do you live a place where you have specialty stores at the ready or do you live in an area where they are far and few between?
Coconut Molasses Cake topped with fresh figs
makes (1) 8" cake
you will need:
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/3 pure maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
1/2 cup almond milk or other non dairy milk
1 cup molasses (I used organic unsulfured molasses)
2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
fresh figs quartered or halved
vegan powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350*
Grease 8-inch round baking pan with coconut oil and line bottom with a round piece parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter.
In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, flax egg, almond milk and the molasses.
In another bowl, combine the flour, coconut flakes, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
Add each of these alternately to the butter mixture, beating well between additions.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for approx. 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cake from pan and place on a serving dish or cake stand. Garnish with fresh figs and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Enjoy with freshly whipped coconut cream or non dairy ice cream!