Brava Ginger Cakes

Last year Janet took me to Brava for dinner. That night we shared the Ginger Cakes with Carmel Sauce. It was abolutely incredible. Over the holiday season, Janet attempted to replicate the recipe four times. The first try was a baked gingerbread cake. The second try was steamed ginger pudding, which didn’t have any molasses. A couple of variations of gingerbread followed with mixed success.

Based on her experiments I found a recipe for molasses pudding, with the thought that the restaurant couldn’t sell anything by that name and the pudding recipe had the correct texture. I cut down on the cinnamon, pumped up the ground ginger, and replace the nuts and raisins with candied ginger. America’s Test Kitchen has a recipe for Easy Caramel Sauce, which I screwed up. It was still tasty. It’s been a year, but I’m pretty sure it’s a very close duplication of the Brava’s dessert. Here’s the recipe:


– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/4 cup molasses
– 1/4 cup hot water
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1 egg
– 3/4 cups flour
– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
– 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 cup candied ginger
– 1/2 tablespoon rum
– Caramel Sauce

Grease 4 1/2 cup ramekins. Add 2 inches of water in a large double boiler and set over high heat.

While the water is coming to a boil, cream the butter; mix in the molasses, hot water, milk and eggs. Sift the flour with the soda and spices; blend into the butter mixture. Add the candied ginger and rum. Fill each ramekins two thirds full.

When the water in the stockpot comes to a boil, carefully place the cakes in the pot, cover and steam (adjust heat so water gently simmers) for 1.5 hours. You may need to cook them in two batches. Watch the water level; when it gets low, add boiling water.

Remove the cakes from the pot and let sit for a few minutes before unmolding. Serve the cakes topped with caramel sauce.

Serves 4.

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