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posted: 10/9/2012 6:00 AM

Jump-For-Joy Gingerbread

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cup unsweetened, unflavored applesauce

1 cup stout (such as Guinness or oatmeal)

1 cup dark, unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)

teaspoon baking soda

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoon ground cloves

teaspoon ground nutmeg

18 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 large eggs

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

6 tablespoons olive oil

Powdered sugar for dusting

Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl deep enough to keep the strainer from touching the bottom and add applesauce. Set aside.

Place oven rack in middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 10-inch (10- to 12-cup) nonstick bundt pan with flour and oil spray (such as Baker's Joy).

Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the stout and molasses and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in baking soda, then cool mixture to room temperature.

Into a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder and ground spices; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugars and fresh ginger. Measure 6 tablespoons drained applesauce and whisk into egg mixture. Whisk in the oil completely. Whisk in the molasses until well combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (this is a thin batter).

Pour batter into bundt pan and tap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake on middle rack until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 55 minutes. Cool gingerbread in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. Before cutting, dust cake with powdered sugar.

Serves 16.

Cook's notes: Due to the molasses and brown sugar, this cake develops a sticky outer surface; make sure the bundt pan is generously coated. I tested the recipe with Grandma's brand molasses and used Trader Joe's Rasputin Stout. This recipe tastes even better if you wait one day before serving it.

Nutrition values per serving: 260 calories (21 percent from fat), 6 g fat (2.6 g saturated), 49 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 2.6 g protein, 40 mg cholesterol, 83 mg sodium.

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