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Written by Roswitha   
Thursday, 10 September 2009

 Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Gingerbread from beloved restaurant in Osborne Village truly memorable

In December, Darlene Delavau asked for a recipe for the gingerbread cake once made at the Tea Cozy in Osborne Village. That request brought back some memories for me. I worked at the Tea Cozy many years ago, washing dishes and doing prep, and I remember the gingerbread well. Dark and spicy, it was served warm in big, generous squares, with whipping cream melting over the top.

Thanks to Mary Janzen, who sent in a recipe taken from the autobiography of former Tea Cozy owner, Roswitha Scharf-Dessureault. Thanks also to Enid Barnes, who got her recipe from a friend who once worked there. Her version is scaled down for a loaf pan. As you can see, both recipes use applesauce, molasses and a good amount of ginger.

This week, Gail Thompson is hoping she can replace a lost recipe for large-batch bran muffins. And she means really large-batch: The batter fills a one-gallon ice cream pail that can be kept in the fridge for weeks to be baked as needed. Failing that, she would love a recipe for bran muffins made with All-Bran, not oat or wheat bran.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Tea Cozy gingerbread

375 ml (11/2 cups) granulated sugar

7 ml (11/2 tsp) cinnamon

22 ml (41/2 tsp) ginger

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

850 ml (33/4 cups) all-purpose flour

375 ml (11/2 cups) vegetable oil

1 x 398 ml (14 oz) jar unsweetened applesauce

125 ml (1/2 cup) water

250 ml (1 cup) blackstrap molasses

250 ml (1 cup) honey or corn syrup

3 eggs

250 ml (1 cup) boiling water

15 ml (1 tbsp) baking soda

Grease a 22 x 33 cm (9 x 13 inch) or line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). In large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and flour. Add vegetable oil, applesauce, water, molasses, honey or corn syrup, and eggs. Mix thoroughly. In small bowl, mix boiling water and baking soda, add to mixture and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 75 minutes, or until pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pan. Serve warm, with whipped cream. Makes 12 large squares.

Tester's notes: This cake is moist, dense and spicy, with a lot of ginger and the strong, resolute flavour of blackstrap molasses. I did find the amount of batter overfilled my baking pan. Next time I would fill it to about the three-quarter level, and maybe make the leftover batter into cupcakes.

 This recipe courtesy of Roswitha Scharf-Dessureault

 is available in her book,

 “Memories of a Life’s Journey”

which is available at major bookstores in Winnipeg.

McNally Robinson Booksellers - Grant Park, Chapters - Polo Park & St. Vital Center and Coles - Kildonan Place & City Place.

 Book City, 1430 Young at St Clair.  416-926-0749 Toronto

Ottawa National Library, Ontario

Winnipeg Library

Winnipeg Archive 


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 March 2014 )
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