Last weekend, I thought I’d get in the festive spirit by baking up some gingerbread cake, something I’d never done before. I had visions of a deliciously spicy, moist, hearty cake whose cheer I could spread among friends. Since I had recently bought a big bottle of black strap molasses (a great source of potassium for expecting ladies like me), this recipe for Black Sticky Gingerbread, from 101 Cookbooks seemed like the perfect one. It seemed simple enough: First you combine butter, a touch of water, molasses, dark brown sugar and some flavored honey over low heat. (I may have made my first mistake here, because it said to do this in a “non reactive” pan. What is that? All my pans are stainless steel, so that’s what I used.) After that is blended, you let it cool while sifting together flour, baking soda, a pinch of salt, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice and cloves. When the molasses mixture is just slightly warm, add in eggs, and fold in dry ingredients. Finally, add in 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger. The recipe said to bake it for an hour and fifteen minutes up to an hour and hour and half. Well, maybe something’s wonky with our oven, because even though I took it out on the early side, I sadly discovered it was burnt a bit on top and bottom. This gave the cake a really weird bitter taste that was not nice at all. Plus, it wasn’t so much “sticky” as dense and dry. The next day it was only more so. It may make a pretty picture, but honestly, we couldn’t eat it and I certainly wouldn’t share with friends. Also, it wasn’t gingery enough. I like it spicy! Maybe I’ll try again this weekend? Something that’s more loafy than cakey? If you have any holiday cake or bread recipes to share, please let me know! — Angela M.