Chocolate gingerbread

I can't believe I haven't blogged this cake before. So much so that I had to double—nay triple—check my recipe index just to make sure I hadn't somehow glossed right over it. But no, it's not there.

So while I've been enjoying chocolate gingerbread around this time for the past 5 years or so, you haven't. It doesn't seem fair, does it. Let's fix that, shall we?

Chocolate Gingerbread

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (mini chips or finely chopped)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup Fancy molasses
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with the chocolate chips or pieces. Set aside.

In a third bowl (stay with me here), beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

Mix the hot water and molasses in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the molasses mixture in 3 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in the chocolate chips or pieces and mix just until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and is firm to the touch.

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack. Make sure the cake has completely set before attempting to loosen it from the pan with a spatula or knife and inverting it onto a serving platter (otherwise you will end up with cake parts in the pan and the rough and tumble cake top pictured above). Store covered at room temperature.

Notes: The cake has a delicious crunchy exterior on day one, but it's equally delicious for days afterward. The crust disappears, but the spicy flavours intensify.

Source: Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cake in Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham.