Makes 8 to 10
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (1/2 pound)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup golden syrup or honey
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment.
2. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the cranberries, granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon water. Stir the cranberries over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and cranberries form a sauce that is syrupy and bubbling thickly, about 10 minutes. Aim to have about half of the cranberries broken down, with the remainder more or less whole.
3. In a separate saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar, milk, molasses, and syrup over medium heat. Bring it to just barely a simmer and then remove it from the heat. Do not let it come to a boil, or the mixture might curdle.
4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and black pepper. Beat in the butter-molasses mixture and then beat in the eggs. Stir in the ginger.
5. Scrape the batter into the pan. Drop fat dollops of cranberry sauce onto the surface of the cake batter. Drag a long, slender knife through the batter in a swirly design, as if you are marbling a cake. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake it until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire baking rack and let the cake cool completely before eating it.