Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread - Tuesdays with Dorie

stack of gingerbread with candied ginger

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.

[recipe here]

Side note...the candied ginger in the shot above was part of my sweet secret santa gift from Joanna! Thanks again, Joanna :)

piece of gingerbread cake

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)

ginger root

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;)

chopped ginger

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.

baking pan with parchment sling

Dry ingredients, including a mound of ginger...

dry ingredients

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.

batter mid-recipe

The finished batter was considerably more smooth and luscious-looking... here it is before folding in the chocolate chunks.

batter fully combined with chocolate chunks on top

The cake domed a bit, as Dorie said it might, and settled back a little bit after cooling (but not totally flat).

fully baked cake

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.

topping poured on top of cake

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.

gingerbread cut into 9 pieces

For cake:
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)

For topping:
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)
Calories: 598
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!

gingerbread with bite taken out


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's a beautiful cake! Really moist looking...



Cristine said...

Your cake looks amazing!

VeggieGirl said...


natalia said...

Wow ! your step by step photography are just great !!Baci

Natalie said...

looks beautiful, as always. ;)

vibi said...

Hey! Sarah Lee gave me a call this morning! She went crazy when she saw how beautiful that gingerbread of yours, tunred out! ...and frankly, I have to agree! Absolutely beautiful, Kim!

SiHaN said...

oh my gosh! i'm only frightened by the caloric values of this cake! ARGH. thanks goodness i 2/3 the recipe and cut it into 16 portions. *phew*.. I'm loving the crisp sharp photos of yours though. The cake looks especially gorgeous here!

Sabrina said...

What a brilliant idea to use parchment paper on the bottom! I wish i would've done that!
You always do such nice work!! Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Oh no, fresh ginger right off the cutting board, too funny. Your squares are wonderful.

Cathy said...

I never could have predicted that this would be heavier on calories than the Berry Surprise Cake! Go figure! I agree that the suggested portion sizes are crazy, though -- I think you could get 20 servings out of this! I LOVE your step by step photos! I am so glad that you liked this!

chocolatechic said...

I'm going to pretend that I didn't see the nutrition information.

Stephanie said...

Wow - hold on while I go pick up my jaw - your photography is FANTASTIC!!

I instantly regretted not making this cake up until the very end - 598 calories nearly made me fall out of my chair. =)

Anyway, your cake looks incredible!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, man...those calories! No wonder it was sooo good. Even my smaller portions would have been about 150 calories. Way more than I estimated.

Great looking gingerbread. Very delicious.

Mara said...

your glaze is so nice and shiny, and look at that fabulous dense gingerbread. loved it...i made cupcakes. scrumptious photos for sure!

Di said...

Your gingerbread looks wonderful! Thanks for the tip about the parchment--I use it quite often, but probably wouldn't have thought to do so for this recipe if you hadn't suggested it.

Pamela said...

Yikes! Those calories! Thanks for posting them, Kim. You are helping me stay on my healthy eating kick. :o) I cut the pieces much smaller and I'm glad I did, that's for sure. Loved this recipe.

Natashya said...

It looks perfectly moist and delicious. Great pics! It really was brownie-like.

Kimberly Johnson said...

Fabulous job on this cake! Yours looks so moist and delicious! I scroll really fast past the nutritional values because I prefer to live in De Nile so if all of the commenters could please refrain from reposting the caloric values of your wonderful baked goods, it would be greatly appreciated thankyouverymuch. :) :)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i know--dorie's portion sizes were huge! but your cake looks yummy enough to justify such a big piece!!

Tammy said...

I agree - it was kind of brownie like. I think I cut mine into 16 pieces. I loved this

Jess said...

Love the photos...and yes, the pieces were too large. 9 square inches of cake! But yours looks delicious.

Sara said...

I also used instant espresso powder instead of coffee. Your cake looks amazing. I love that you calculate the nutritional facts, though they are a little hard to swallow when you remember how much cake you have eaten :)

Mary Ann said...

You have got to quit including the calorie info for these recipeS!! lol
actually, I got 36 servings so that really reduces all that.
Your pics are lovely. I love gingeroot too.

spike. said...

hmmm, wish I hadn't seen the calorie count considering how much of this I ate over the past few days! Your pictures are great

Melissa said...

Your gingerbread looks fantastic. And I'm right there with you - I never knew until now that gingerbread could be a cake! Who knew?!?

Anne said...

Wow, that nutritional info! Yikes! Stunning photos Kim, I'm always happy to see your take on the recipe!

Anonymous said...

My daughter will LOVE this recipe - thanks!

Katrina said...

You don't call yourself scrumptious photography for nothin'. GREAT looking cake and photos. A great week for TWD.

AmyRuth said...

Can you please make a little "put on your blindfolds" now if you wish to remain ignorant ....mwah ha ha ha ha. That just kills me knowing the calorie damage. Gosh darn! Your gingerbread square cuts are sooooo crisp. Wowsa! Very pretty pictures.

Teanna said...

HOLY CALORIES BATMAN! Are you for REALS?! I'm glad I didn't eat a whole slice!

Can I tell you that I am secretly jealous of your insane ability to take gorgeous photos of food. Can you fly out to my place week after week and make my food look good, please? I can't buy your plane tickets, but we'll share recipes! No?

Kayte said...

Gorgeous...maybe I gave up on this recipe too soon as you seemed to really like it. Your photos are outstanding.

Rachel said...

Good call on the parchment paper--mine would not budge out of the pan even though I greased it liberally. And you are very brave to post the nutrition information--I calculated it, took one look at the results, and immediately tried to forget what I'd seen!

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

SPECTACULAR! Your cake looks amazing!

Lillian said...

Your photography is indeed scrumptious!

Banjo said...

Good gawd that is the calorie count?!?! OUCH!! ha Oh well.... Your cake looks beautiful!

Tracey said...

Your photos make me so envious! They're absolutely gorgeous, just like your cake!

The Food Librarian said...

Delicious! I'm glad you liked this. It is one of my favorites - I love all things ginger.

G in Berlin said...

Beautiful photos, and thanks so much for the nutrition info. Makes me glad half is going to school with me today and half to work with the husband!But it tasted amazingly good in a very thin slice.

Debra Snider said...

If you're looking for something to do with some of that extra molasses, try the ginger cookies on my website. They're delicious, easy to make, they freeze well - and they use molasses!

Anonymous said...

598 calories, ummm... uh oh. i see more treadmill in my future. :) glad you liked this cake. ginger is one of my most favorite flavors.

n.o.e said...

I love the way your cake looks - you did such a lovely job of squaring it up! And even better that it was a hit at your house. It did have amazing texture.

farah said...

Wow, your pictures are fantastic! Now i'm really ashamed of my poor photographic ability ;)
Your cake looks perfect.

Danielle said...

Great job, and again you amaze me with your picture taking skills!

Passionate Baker said...

your cake looks fantastic!
great job!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Absolute beautiful as always! I'm so pleased you liked this cake.

TeaLady said...

Awsome looking cake. Awful looking calories. Thanks for that info, I think. I cut mine into 16 so it was only 340 calories per slice. You do what you have to do. Great pics.

Anonymous said...

Great photos.. and love the nutrition data with the recipe...

Linda said...

Wow, these photos are a real treat Kim! i especially love the photo of the finished cake cut into squares.

Gorgeous cake, gruesome calorie count! ;)

LyB said...

I absolutely agree, this was almost like a brownie. Yours looks fantastic. :)

Post a Comment