What you need is dessert. Well, that's always my prescription for fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, hangnails, split ends, and restless leg syndrome. OK, it's pretty much my cure-all for everything. But who, at the end of an intense week, has the energy to whip up a Caramel Mocha Gateau with Spun Sugar topping? Not me, and by the way, you needed to start making it three days ago to serve it tonight.
OK, what you need is an easy dessert that you can throw together in 20 minutes or less, toss into the oven, and then garner ooohs and aaaahs from your family and friends when you serve it. Who knew that such a recipe could be found in a Martha Stewart cookbook?
I tend to stay away from Martha Stewart because she intimidates me. Her recipes and instructions always seem to call for exotic ingredients or tools that I don't have on hand, and if I try to substitute it will fail. My ice cream will curdle because I don't have the black-currant puree that she keeps in her freezer and I won't be able to make those adorable cookies because I don't own the Italian cookie molds that Martha uses.
However, I wanted to try a new recipe for gingerbread for today's post and I was thrilled with the results. This recipe from Holidays yielded a larger cake than any of my other recipes (bonus if company's coming) and it has a daintier, fluffier appearance that makes it more cake-like and a fancier dessert. Especially when topped with a fat blob of whipped cream and a piece of homemade crystallized ginger.
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking powder
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Whipped cream for garnish
1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside. Combine boiling water with baking soda and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, spices and baking powder. Set aside.
2- In the large bowl of a mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in molasses and baking-soda mixture. Beat in flour mixture. Add eggs and beat well.
3- Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes (a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean). Cool on wire rack. To serve top with whipped cream and a slice or two of Crystallized Ginger.
*Random Neuron Firing - Why is the term "gingerbread" used to describe both construction-quality dough used for semi-edibile cottages and a fluffy cake? And neither of them is a bread? Why not ginger cake and ginger plywood?