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TAYLORVILLE — Decadent treats and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Couples typically exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day, and those gifts are often accompanied by something sweet.
A 2017 survey from Statista found that 44 percent of respondents intended to purchase candy and sweets for their significant other on Valentine’s Day. That made candy and sweets the most popular Valentine’s Day gift by a considerable margin, well above the likes of other February 14th favorites like greeting cards (33 percent) and flowers (32 percent).
Romantic dinners still have a place at the Valentine’s Day table, as the Statista survey found that 29 percent of respondents intended to sit down for a romantic meal as part of their celebration. Homemade desserts can be a great way to show that special someone just how much they’re loved. If cooks want to employ the element of surprise, then this recipe for “Ginger Cake” from Will Budiaman’s “The Essential Kamado Grill Cookbook” (Rockridge Press) won’t disappoint. Firing up the grill is sure to pique a loved one’s interest, and the slightly spicy finished product marks a departure from more traditional desserts.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the pan, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1. Bring the grill to 350 F with the cooking grate and heat deflector installed. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes.
4. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes or until light tan in color.
5. With the machine running, add the milk.
6. Add the flour mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed, until fully incorporated. Transfer to the skillet.
7. Put the skillet on the grate. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Put on a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Cutting butter into small cubes and arranging them in a single layer will help them soften more quickly.