Sunday, December 12, 2004

Decadent Christmas Gingerbread
Greg and I usually make something to give to friends and family for the holidays. I try to do something different every year, but there was so much pressure on us to make our decadent holiday gingerbread that I caved and made a whole bunch this year. This is a really moist, dense, and strongly rich treat. It is important to do several things with this recipe. One is to whisk all the ingredients together to maintain the air inside the batter, another is to make sure to generously butter and flour the bundt pan, the last is to make sure and use a bundt or a springform pan with the hole in the middle or else the cake will not cook. LOAF PANS DO NOT WORK HERE! One can find oatmeal stout at speciality stores like Trader Joe's. Otherwise, the Guinness Stout works just fine..though I've always wondered what honey brown ale would do. This is the gingerbread recipe from the Gramercy Tavern in New York City

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

10" bundt pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. (very important)
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.
Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream.


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