Do you love gingerbread? I mean, really, really love gingerbread. The kind that is spicy and pungent but still maintains its softness and moisture? With a darkness in color that Dorie calls “mysterious”? Gingerbread at its most robust? If you’re starting to drool, just a smidge, you are going to love this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia recipe, Gingerbread Baby Cakes.
The ingredients in this batter offer the clues to guide us to that delicious end result. Besides flour and dark brown sugar, the dry mixture also includes instant espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, ground ginger, baking powder, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Yes, that’s right, black pepper. (Note: Do not substitute instant coffee for espresso powder.)
The wet ingredients include eggs and butter, of course, but also 2 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh ginger and 2 cups of unsulphured molasses.
Although this makes a stiff batter when mixed together, it pours easily into the small baby cake pans, one 10-inch round pan, or the mini-bundts that I used. I was careful to brush each inside with melted butter and then lightly dust with flour and had no problem with unmolding. However, I added an extra five minutes to the suggested 25 minutes at 350F cooking time.
Although Dorie suggests dressing the gingerbread cake with whipped cream and candied lemon peel, I chose to sprinkle peppermint candy pieces over the lightly whipped cream. A festive touch for the holidays.
Thanks to Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories for hosting this week. If you’d like to try making this gingerbread yourself, link to her Blog for the recipe. To see what others did this week, go to Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia.