Saturday, January 24, 2009
Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread - Tuesdays with Dorie
Sunday night - A nice cake to make. The process was quite straightforward, except perhaps for the finely chopped ginger root. I tried chopping it in my coffee grinder but it came out too full of liquid, so I just chopped it with a knife. It's stringy and does not respond well to being cut into tiny pieces - I have a feeling that people are going to get little chunks of ginger with string in their portions. I did not use the ginger in syrup - I thought it would be too much.
Of course, I believed I had Grandma's Molasses but it turned out I only had blackstrap so that meant a quick trip to the store about 4 blocks away. After that putting it together went very breezily. I baked it for 40 minutes before testing with a fine knitting needle - it came out with lots of batter on it, so I went for 50minutes. Now I think it might be a bit overdone! Oh well, as long as it tastes good.
I've just sampled a small piece that fell off the bottom of the cake when I turned it out - it does not seem to be very sweet and has a strong molasses (somewhat bitter) taste. Hopefully it will settle down tomorrow before we eat it on Tuesday. Right now I'm thinking of real English Gingerbread Loaf Cake with Lyons Golden Syrup (like my mother and grandmother used to make)- it was sweet and absolutely divine.
Monday evening - Finished the chocolate ganache part. It set very quickly and looks quite glossy. I sprinkled the top with mini crystallized ginger morsels.
I'm really looking forward to it tomorrow, posting day. I'm the "Chooser" this week so here's Dorie's recipe:
Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
For the Cake
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate - 2 ounces melted and cooled, 4 ounces finely chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely chopped stem ginger in syrup (available in Asian markets and supermarkets; optional)
For the Icing
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon strong coffee
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Getting Ready:Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and put it on a baking sheet. (Pan must be a full 9-inch square size or batter will overflow - measure first).
To Make the Cake: Put the fresh ginger and sugar in a small bowl, stir and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and spices together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment,or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar and butter together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage. Pour in the molasses and beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate, along with the sugared ginger. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2(begin and end with the dry ingredients),mixing the batter only as much as needed to blend the ingredients. Fold in the chopped chocolate and the ginger in syrup. Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Don't be concerned if the cake has domed and cracked-it will settle down as it cools. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes, then unmold the cake. Turn right side up to cool to room temperature before icing the cake. (The edges of the cake might be quite brown, but don't fret-you can trim them after you ice the cake.)
To Make the Icing: Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, put the chocolate and coffee in the bowl, and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Remove the bowl and, using a small whisk, stir in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Sift the confectioners' sugar over the chocolate and stir in. Transfer the bowl to a counter and let the icing sit for about 10 minutes.
Put the gingerbread, still on the rack, on a piece of wax paper or foil (the drip catcher). Pour the icing onto the center of the cake and use a long metal spatula to spread the icing evenly over the top. Allow the icing to set for 30 minutes (you can hurry it along by chilling the cake briefly). If the edges of the cake are overbaked, now is the time to trim them. Then cut the gingerbread into 9 even pieces.