Triple Ginger Gingerbread Cake

Time for gingerbread! Please welcome Garrett McCord who has whipped up this beautiful dark and gingery gingerbread for us. ~Elise

I get cravings throughout the year for the spicy, treacly flavor of gingerbread. Sure, I can easily satisfy myself come December when the baking world goes gaga for gingerbread, but I’ve been known to make it in the middle of Spring or Summer simply to quell my ginger-obsession. By itself or served toasted with a bit of butter and jam I find that a lively and gingery gingerbread is really appropriate at any time of year.

This recipes utilizes the classic method for making gingerbread, which requires melting the fat (in this case, the butter) in with the molasses, honey, and sugar before adding the dry ingredients. To give it some extra kick I use three forms of ginger: ground, fresh, and candied to ensure a pronounced ginger flavor. A heavy dose of other classic gingerbread spices give the cake some more dimension. These methods and ingredients together create a gingerbread that is dark, dense, a little bit sticky, and outrageously flavorful.

This is a cake that benefits from time. When the cake is cool wrap it up in plastic wrap and wait 24 hours to allow the flavors to intensify. If you can't find candied ginger, you can simply substitute more fresh ginger.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup molasses, unsulphured
  • 1/2 cup honey (preferably a dark variety such as buckwheat, avocado or wildflower)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (can substitute light brown)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger, minced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Method

1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Fit a piece of parchment or baking paper inside and allow some to hang off the sides (this will make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan later). Lightly butter and flour the paper as well.

2 In a medium sauce pot over medium heat place the butter, molasses, honey, water, and brown sugar. Stir to melt the butter. Do not allow to simmer or boil. Once the butter is melted take the pot off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Be sure to stir the mixture every so often as the the sugar and fat will form skin on the surface.

3 Once room temperature whisk the eggs, grated ginger, and candied ginger into the molasses mixture. Set aside.

4 Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the flour to the molasses mixture in three or four additions and whisk until it just comes together.

5 Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes. Loosely place a piece of foil over the top and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then lift the cake out of the pan and continue to cool on the rack. You can serve this fresh out of the oven, but the flavor is much better if you give it a day to sit and allow the spices to intensify the cake.

5a A loaf pan can also be used for this recipe. Simply place foil over the top at 25 minutes, and then increase the continuing baking time by 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I find, however, that a loaf pan often results in slightly crispier, more well-done crust.

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