Friday, December 7, 2007

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

This is the gingerbread i've been waiting for. The fresh ginger adds great flavor and heat, and the chunks of chopped chocolate melt in your mouth. I love the subtle blend of spices and the smooth consistency of the frosting.

Do sift the confectioners' sugar, or your icing will be rather lumpy.

I didn't mind that the edges were slightly over-baked. I trimmed them off and ate them immediately. This gingerbread is a keeper. I almost don't want to take it to the holiday party I made it for...

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
adapted from Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the cake:
2 tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 stick + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, 2 oz melted and cooled, 4 oz finely chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp finely chopped stem ginger in syrup (optional)

For the icing:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp strong coffee
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp confectioners sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9in square baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.

Put the fresh ginger and sugar in a small bowl, stir and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and spices together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage. Pour in the molasses and beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate, along with the sugared ginger. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in two (begin and end with dry ingredients,) mixing the batter only as much as needed to blend the ingredients. Fold in the chopped chocolate and the ginger in syrup (if using.) Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Don't be concerned if the cake has domed and cracked- it will settle down as it cools. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes, then unmold the cake. Turn right side up to cool to room temperature before icing the cake. The edges might be quite brown, but don't fret- you can trim them after you ice the cake.

To make the icing: Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, put the chocolate and coffee in the bowl, and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Remove the bowl and, using a small whisk, stir in the butter 1 tbsp at a time. Sift the confectioners sugar over the chocolate and stir in. Transfer the bowl to a counter and let the icing sit for about 10 minutes.

Put the gingerbread, still on the rack, on a pice of wax paper or foil. Pour the icing onto the center of the cake and use a long metal spatula to spread the icing evenly over the top. Allow the icing to set for 30 minutes. If the edges of the cake are overbaked, now's the time to trim them. Then cut the gingerbread into 9 even pieces.


stregapez said...

This gingerbread sounds delicious. I was thinking of making it and mailing it to a friend. If I packed it well, do you think it would travel okay, or is it too delicate?

Lisa Campbell said...

The squares are very hefty- I think they'd ship well as long as it doesn't take more than a few days.