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Monday, November 12, 2012

Gingerbread Cake

Hi everyone!

Fall is here, or almost, all over the country, so I'm getting into those spicy flavors (like cloves, ginger, not red pepper spicy!), root vegetables, etc. that are all over this season.

This gingerbread cake has a nice delicate tender crumb, and is not too sweet, so is great to snack on and goes perfectly with it's cream cheese icing. The flavor is similar to a molasses cookie, and you're using a lot of the same ingredients, just a little differently. Let's get to it, this loaf cake I made was delish- my mom and sister and I gobbled it up within hours of baking!

Your arsenal- basic baking ingredients- you should have all of this in your cupboard already probably! (fresh ginger not in this picture)

Butter-sugar-molasses mixture and water-baking soda mixture.

Here's what is looks like when you mix the above two together- beautiful color!

And now we've added the eggs and vanilla to make it take on this richer color. Now would be a good time to add in your fresh ginger (none in this pic, I apologize).

Dump all your dry ingredients on top, and whisk them in!

The finished batter and prepared loaf pan.

And the loaf about to go into the oven at 350 F for about 25 minutes.

And then it comes out looking like this- beautiful! It helps a lot to use parchment paper to avoid any sticking

Gingerbread Cake
(notes: the more and fresher your spices, the spicier your gingerbread, you could intensify the flavors with a darker molasses, and also feel free to substitute light brown sugar for the dark. Adding grated carrot or zucchini would also be great in this cake- give it your own twist!)
-1/2 cup butter
-1 cup dark brown sugar
-1 cup boiling water
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons ginger
-1/2 teaspoon allspice
-1/4 teaspoon cloves
-1 teaspoon grated and chopped fresh ginger
Cream the butter and the sugar together. Stir in the molasses. Boil the water and add the baking soda to it, stir. Add this mixture to the butter/sugar/molasses mix.
Temper the eggs in if your mixture is still hot (gradually adding a little more of the molasses mix to the eggs to raise the temperature so you're eggs don't cook upon adding to the batter), add the vanilla, and stir well.
Stir in the dry ingredients and grated ginger.
Bake in a greased or parchment-lined loaf pan (what I did), 13x9'' pan, layer cake pans, cupcakes, etc. at 350 F until a tester comes out clean (my loaf took 25-30 minutes).
Cool completely before icing.

Your (much smaller) arsenal for the icing (which you could use on anything you like)- butter, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, salt, milk (not pictured). Easy!

The finished icing- just whip all that together and here you are!

Gingerbread Cake Cream Cheese Icing
(note: this is probably enough icing for a 9x13'' or layer cake- I only used about a 1/3 of this in icing my loaf cake, so use your discretion)
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (or neufch√Ętel), softened
-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-4 cups confectioner's sugar
-a few teaspoons milk to adjust the spreadability of the icing
Cream butter and cream cheese. Beat in salt, vanilla, then add the sugar and beat in. Add milk to adjust until it is the thickness you desire.

And here's my finished loaf cake- a little rustic, but it served our purposes just fine- it was delicous! I can't wait to try it again with some of the suggestions I included above- can't wait to add carrot to this or zucchini!

Savor it!
love, rue

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