Ken Smith, the executive chef at Upperline restaurant and an avid home baker, often serves this spiced, cane syrup-sweetened cake. On special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas he pairs it with a sauce made from satsumas, a clementine-like citrus fruit that grows in Louisiana and is available in the late fall.
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for the pan 2 tsp. ground ginger 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. ground cloves ½ tsp. fine salt ½ tsp. finely ground black pepper 1 ½ cups dark cane syrup, preferably Steen's brand ½ cup canola oil 1 egg, beaten 1 ½ tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup boiling water Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 350°. Butter a 9" round metal cake pan and line bottom with buttered parchment paper. Sprinkle in a little flour; turn and tilt pan to coat the inside. Invert pan and tap out any excess flour. Set pan aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together syrup, oil, and egg. Beat one-third of the flour mixture followed by one-third of the soda mixture into the syrup mixture; repeat twice more, to make a smooth batter. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cake cool completely in pan. Invert cake onto a plate; dust with confectioners' sugar.