Recipe Source: Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin, care of Marisa McClellan of Slashfood.com
Directions: (all parenthetical notes belong to Colwin)
1. Cream one stick of sweet butter with 1/2 cup of light or dark brown sugar. Beat until fluffy and add 1/2 cup of molasses.
2. Beat in two eggs.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and one very generous tablespoon of ground ginger (this can be adjusted to taste, but I like it very gingery). Add one teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice.
4. Add two teaspoons of lemon brandy. If you don’t have any, use plain vanilla extract. Lemon extract will not do. Then add 1/2 cup of buttermilk (or milk with a little yogurt beaten into it) and turn batter into a buttered tin.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for between twenty and thirty minutes (check after twenty minutes have passed). Test with a broom straw and cool on a rack.
I used a fairly shallow 9 inch round cake pan and had a mess all over my oven. I think next time, I will use a deeper, square 9 x 9 pan. Also, in my oven, which runs fairly true to temperature, this cake took nearly an hour to bake. I don’t know if that had something to do with my choice in baking vessel, but don’t be discouraged if it takes far longer than her instructions indicate.