Thank you, Helene, for having me here on your blog today. I’m turning this post over to a character in my novel The Mall Fairies: Exile. Grace is feeling guilty and I’ll let her tell you why. And she shares one of my favorite recipes, yum!
Who could have possibly have known? And if I’d known, how could I have believed a word? I mean, really, those little birds and bats we spotted flying around in our shopping mall are fairies? Really? REALLY? Turns out, yes, really. And even if Grandma MacDougall is the wonderful woman who raised me—she does drink a bit. Okay more than a bit … So I never did believe my tipsy grandmother when she talked about a one-winged fairy (not only fairies, but one-winged too? I mean, come on) riding around on the huge music box Christmas carousel. You know—the one that sits in the display window of our shop in the mall, Christmas Fairyland. I wonder if I should apologize—naw, I think I’ll just bake our favorite cake, that way Grandma and I can both have some delicious fun—without those silly fairies mucking up our lives. They do that just by showing up. And if they do show up, well …
MOLASSES CAKE, THE BASIC RECIPE (This is one you can play with a lot, very forgiving.)
1/2 c. molasses (light or dark, your choice)
2/3 c. water
1/2 c. raisins (can be omitted, other dried fruits can be substituted, or added to raisins. Or nuts are also good.)
1/2 teas. cinnamon
1/2 teas. cloves
1/2 teas. baking soda (I use more, a teaspoon.)
1 and 3/4 c. white flour
Boil water, combine with molasses and raisins, boil 5 minutes (to soften dried fruit) let cool.
Combine other ingredients together, add mixture.
Spray 8″ by 8″ pan (or oil and flour) bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Plain, this makes a good breakfast cake.
GRANDMA MACDOUGALL’S VARIATION for Molasses Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Orange Frosting:
Use more of the spices listed above and you can add ginger and nutmeg, sometimes even a touch of chili powder. Add a half cup of chocolate bits and/or a half cup of nuts. This cake is a little dry and not terribly sweet, so sometimes I melt chocolate bits on the top for a quick frosting and sometimes I frost the cake, depending on mood.
Chocolate Orange Frosting:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ to ½ teaspoon orange extract
In a large bowl, cream the butter and add the cocoa, vanilla and orange extract and then slowly beat in the sugar by half cupfuls until desired consistency is reached. Frost the cooled cake.
For more adventures of Grace and her, ahem, sorta, fairy friends, read The Mall Fairies: Exile, the first in Conda V. Douglas’ Mall Fairies trilogy.