My grandmother has been the most amazing baker I have ever known. Nothing will beat her custard squares or her fresh bread. When she passed on, I inherited her very vast collections of cookbooks, mostly handwritten, with most of the recipes only being half written, as she knew the rest off by heart.
No measurements, no method, no baking temperatures.
She wouldn’t tell me her baking secrets in life, and she is still not telling me them now. So a lot of the recipes that I have tried to make have failed many times until I cracked the secrets of a particular recipe.
I came across this recipe in my favourite collection of her recipes, an old, red folder that is falling to pieces. This was originally a chocolate caramel cake, but as I knew I would never be able to make it as well as my nana could, I thought why not adapt it and change it up.
Let me introduce my chocolate molasses cake. Soft, fluffy and light with a rich deep molasses flavour, that is complemented by cocoa and the chocolate buttercream frosting. This cake is perfect with caffeine filled coffee or a comforting cup of tea. In hindsight, I would have doubled this recipe, cut it in half and layered it with the chocolate icing, but really, I cannot complain about this one bit. There isn’t a crumb left of evidence. It’s gone.
Chocolate Molasses Cake
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1Tbsp Golden Syrup
2Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
113g Butter, softened at room temperature
210g Icing Sugar
30g Cocoa Powder
5ml Vanilla Essence
1) Preheat oven to 180ºC
2) In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, golden syrup and molasses. Beat until combined
3) In a seperate bowl or jug, dissolve the baking soda in the milk
4) Sieve together the dry ingredients and add to the butter/egg mixture, alternating with the wet ingrediens. Mix until just combined
5) Deposit the batter in a greased 9” cake pan and bake for 40 minutes
6) Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing from cake tin. Let cool completely before icing
1) In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter icing sugar, cocoa powder, cream, salt, and vanilla essence. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.