Ginger Crunch Cake with Strawberry Sauce
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped fine
1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (from about eight 2-inch
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten lightly
3 cups well-chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pint strawberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Garnish: strawberries, with leaves and blossoms if desired (not
recommended for eating)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8- by 2-inch cake pans.
For crunch topping:
In a small bowl combine crunch topping ingredients, stirring until
combined. Divide topping among pans and press evenly onto bottom.
For ginger cake:
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon,
and salt. Add remaining ginger cake ingredients and with an electric
mixer beat on high speed 2 minutes. Carefully spread batter over
crunch topping in pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven,
switching position of pans in oven halfway through baking, 20
minutes, or until a tester inserted in center of each layer comes
Immediately invert cake layers onto racks lined with wax paper and
cool completely. Cake layers may be made 2 weeks ahead and frozen,
wrapped separately in plastic wrap. Thaw layers in refrigerator
before proceeding with recipe.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters of an electric mixer beat 2
cups cream with vanilla and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until it
just holds stiff peaks.
Arrange 1 cake layer, crunch side up, on a cake plate and spread
with a heaping cup whipped cream. Repeat with another cake layer and
another heaping cup whipped cream and top with third cake layer,
crunch side up. Leaving top plain, spread remaining whipped cream on
side of cake to coat (a final coating will be added later). Chill
cake, covered loosely with plastic wrap, at least 4 hours (to
facilitate slicing) and up to 24.
Hull strawberries and slice half of them. In a bowl with a potato
masher mash sliced berries with lemon juice and remaining 2
tablespoons granulated sugar. In a food processor purée remaining
berries and strain through a fine sieve into bowl with mashed berry
mixture. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters of an electric mixer, beat
remaining cup cream until it just holds stiff peaks and spread
decoratively on side of cake. Arrange some whole strawberries on top
of cake and garnish plate with additional whole strawberries.
Serve cake with strawberry sauce.
Makes 1 Cake.