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?
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
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.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
It's been awhile, but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say, there was some of this.
And occasionally this.
And then a trip to Cuba that came and went in the space of a blink. Water so green and skies so blue—surely a mirage.
There, a niece(!) got hitched.
And I started (and finished) this.
Just in time for Air Canada to take us home.
There was John Hamm on SNL in a hotel room near the Toronto airport (and a few flakes of snow just to remind us where we were). Then one more plane ride back to my favourite rainy city.
Where this was waiting in the mail.
So I made these Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins.
The idea of pumpkin and cheese together in a muffin seemed odd at first, but then I ate one. And another. And before long I was making a second batch.
If that's not a good sign, I don't know what is.
Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins
1 cup pumpkin purée
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
115 grams (4 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, grated*
* Apparently this works out to be about 1 1/4 cups when grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream. Add the eggs and melted butter and whisk until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and brown sugar.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients all at once. Stir just until combined. Fold in about three-quarters of the cheese.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 greased muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the muffin pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to cool completely.
Best eaten fresh from the oven, but they hold their moisture quite well for several days.
Source: Slightly adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, p. 25.
Notes: After making the recipe as published, I reduced the amount of black pepper and halved the sugar in my second batch. Skipped the pumpkin seeds both times.