Total Calories: 268
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cocoa, then lightly whisk and set aside. (If substituting ground ginger for the freshly grated ginger called for later in the recipe, sift it in now with the other spices.)
3. In a stand mixer set on medium speed, beat the eggs until foamy. Beat in the brown sugar until light and lump free. Beat in the buttermilk, molasses, butter, and fresh ginger until well blended, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture, and on low speed, beat until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smack the pan down on the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles. Next, gently rotate the pan to settle and level the batter. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges have pulled away from the sides, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1. For Sticky-Top Gingerbread,follow the main recipe, letting the cake cool while preparing the topping. Place an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler’s heat source. Preheat the broiler.
2. To make the topping, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream, stirring constantly as the mixture bubbles and then thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the warm gingerbread, letting the topping seep down the sides.
3. Place the gingerbread under the broiler and broil until the topping is bubbling, about 40 seconds. Watch carefully to prevent the topping from burning. Serve warm with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
For gingerbread lovers who crave those semisweet morsels, be sure to try Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cupcakes. Follow the main recipe, lining a standard muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Increase the cocoa from 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon and use the 21/2 teaspoons ground ginger instead of the fresh ginger. Proceed as directed. After the batter is blended, stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake in the center of the oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, about 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool. Serve plain or dusted with powdered sugar, warm or at room temperature.
From Holiday Baking. Text copyright © 2005 by Sara Perry. Photographs copyright © 2005 by Leigh Beisch. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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