Before making this recipe, I'd never considered that gingerbread could be a cake. I always thought it was limited to being the walls of sugary houses and the stuff of gingerbread men. So when I saw that Heather of Sherry Trifle had picked the Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread for this week's TWD, my interest was piqued.
Side note...the candied ginger in the shot above was part of my sweet secret santa gift from Joanna! Thanks again, Joanna :)
The recipe turned out better than anything I'd expected. As A. put it, it was almost a brownie — very moist and dense, with the molasses and chocolate coming out as the key players in the cake. The ginger comes through as an accent, although sometimes you'll bite into a piece of the fresh ginger and get a pop of spicy flavor (probably because I didn't chop it fine enough... :-p)
I've never been too crazy about ginger, other than as part of Ginger Ale, until I bought a fresh ginger root one day to use in an Asian recipe. As soon as I smelled that fresh scent while I was chopping it up, I knew that I had really been missing out on something amazing. Of course, then I attempted to taste it raw, and almost choked;)
With square cakes like this, I really like putting a parchment sling down so it's easy to grab and lift the cake out when it's cool.
Dry ingredients, including a mound of ginger...
I asked A. to get the molasses for me at the store, and unfortunately all they had was a gigundo bottle... guess I'll have to think of some more uses :)
Here is the batter after adding the molasses and melted chocolate — still looks kinda weird and curdled at this point.
The finished batter was considerably more smooth and luscious-looking... here it is before folding in the chocolate chunks.
The cake domed a bit, as Dorie said it might, and settled back a little bit after cooling (but not totally flat).
The topping was a nice and thick chocolate glaze, with coffee to add a little kick. I used instant espresso for this, since it's quick and has a nice strong flavor.
Dorie said to portion this into 9 pieces, but if I did this again I would definitely cut them smaller! I did like her advice to cut off the sides, though, since mine were pretty dark and too chewy.
18 g finely chopped fresh ginger (2 T)
14 g sugar (1 T)
250 g all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 t baking soda
2 t ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
11 T butter (156 g)
170 g light brown sugar (3/4 c)
3 large eggs
1/2 c molasses
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (170 g)
1 c buttermilk
Optional: 1 T finely chopped stem ginger in syrup (I did not use this)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (85 g)
1 T strong coffee (I used instant espresso)
3 T unsalted butter (42 g)
3 T powdered sugar
Nutrition Facts from NutritionData.com:
(per square of cake -- 1/9th of cake)
Fat: 31 g
Saturated Fat: 18 g
Cholesterol: 120 mg
Sodium: 207 mg
Carbohydrates: 74 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 8 g
Yep, you read those calories right! These have more calories than the Berry Surprise cake. Personally, I couldn't have eaten a whole gingerbread piece of the size Dorie said to cut anyway (1/9th of the cake), because they were so dense and heavy. And now, unfortunately, we see how that translates to calories ;)
Thanks to Heather for picking this yummy recipe. Now, it's about time you went and checked out the rest of this week's TWD entries!