I got lazy about Sunday Supper this weekend because I got a little too carried away baking for our “unhealthy eating break” that Sunday brings. We had chocolate chip cookies, a yellow cake, a lemon yogurt cake with a recipe to come, and the chocolate gingerbread cake pictured above.
For supper, we had an easy, but comforting grilled cheese sandwich with a lovely cheese we came across yesterday when we ventured out to the market during the snowstorm. I made a just-as-effortless roasted tomato and basil soup with some organic roma tomatoes and the teensiest bunch of basil found in the middle of winter. Everything’s familiar, and quick to whip up, so I could focus on the baking and the decorating that ensued. I promise, posts to come for these aforementioned sweets.
The chocolate gingerbread recipe is from Adam at Amateur Gourmet, whose posts I recently discovered, and enjoy reading immensely. I actually stumbled across Adam’s blog via Twitter, with this poignant post in support of LGBT teens. (It looks like Dan Savage will be publishing it in the upcoming book of essays – way to go!)
Chocolate Gingerbread – adapted from this recipe
- 60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 30g (2 tbsp) packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 160g (1/2 cup) molasses
- 110g (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 110g (1/2 cup) brewed coffee, cooled
- 170g (1 1/4 cup) flour
- 6g (2 tsp) baking soda
- 2g (1/4 tsp) salt
- 1/2 tsp each of: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and mustard powder
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Butter and flour a loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, and set aside
- In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy
- Add in the egg and mix well on medium. Add in the molasses and melted chocolate and beat until thoroughly mixed. It may look slightly curdled first – just keep beating and it’ll all come together as an emulsion soon enough
- Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low until incorporated. Add in half of the coffee and mix on low until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and coffee
- Once everything is well incorporated, scrape down the bowl and beat on medium speed for a couple of minutes
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean
- Cool in pan until pan is cool enough to be handled without mitts, and reverse out onto a cooling rack to cool thoroughly
The cake rose quickly and had a cracked top, which, me being OCD, had to cut off before I poured on the ganache. In Adam’s original version, he kept the cracks as is and the cake looked just as impressive.
To finish off the chocolate gingerbread, I melted 2 oz. chocolate chips with 2 tbsp. of whipping cream, plus a dash of cinnamon. Once the ganache was cool enough to touch, I poured it onto the cake (with the cracked top already cut off), and spread quickly with an offset small spatula.
I was impressed with the texture of this cake – it’s somewhere between a hardcore chocolate cake and a lighter snack like a banana bread. It’s also slightly crumbly when you slice into it, but still manages to be somewhat fluffy. The best thing is that aside from the chocolate expectations, the spices really come through and make it quite flavourful and suitable for the season. I would highly recommend giving this a try before putting the cinnamon and molasses away until December!