The morning I set out to make this gingerbread recipe I was distracted. That fox you see above was hanging around my yard. I quickly switched lenses on my camera and started snapping away from the safety of my house. I wondered about this fox. He was acting a bit ‘off’, shaking his head a lot, his tail was rather scrawny and not fluffy, his eyes seemed perpetually closed against the bright daylight. He bedded down near a tree in the neighbors yard for awhile and was grooming himself. Perhaps it is mating season and he was looking to meet a Mrs? After a bit he got up and explored the rest of the neighborhood – pouncing on prey -and then off he went. I set off toward the kitchen where I started gathering gingerbread ingredients all the while looking out the window to see if Mr. Fox would turn up.I grew up eating warm gingerbread with dollops of freshly whipped cream. I set out to make an updated version on this classic spice cake.
What I liked about the recipe I was using as a base was it was similar to the recipe I grew up eating. No buttermilk was used, instead I turned to boiling water. No shortening was used, instead I subbed in butter. There was no creaming of butter, sugar and eggs. Instead, the molasses, cubed butter, dark brown sugar and boiling water were mixed together until the butter melted. The egg, baking soda and salt were mixed in. Finally, the sifted flour and spices were up. I gently mixed in some candied ginger and freshly cracked black pepper for extra pizzazz.
Later when it was deemed appropriate dessert time I whipped up some cream, along with a drop of maple syrup and some freshly ground cinnamon. I gently warmed the gingerbread and dolloped the cream on top. There are so many things that are so right with this dessert. It is perfect for a cold winters night. The candied ginger shines through and the fresh ginger gives a little zing alongside the zippy black pepper. The ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream is the perfect companion to this tender and spicy cake.
- Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 2/3 Cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 Cup molasses
- 2/3 Cup boiling water
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons of candied ginger, finely chopped
- Few turns of freshly cracked pepper, optional
- Whipped Cream:
- 1/2 Cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used freshly ground, you can also use regular)
- Butter and flour a 9 inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350*.
- In a medium bowl mix together the brown sugar, molasses, boiling water and butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
- To this add the baking soda, salt and beaten egg.
- In a small bowl (or a sifter), sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking to combine.
- Lastly, fold in the candied ginger and a few cracks of pepper.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350* for 25 - 28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Whipped Cream:
- Beat together the whipping cream, maple syrup and freshly ground cinnamon until it is thickened. Serve atop the warmed gingerbread. Enjoy!