This past week I made gingerbread from Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. Her recipe calls for a combination of maple syrup, brown sugar and molasses. I grew up in Vermont, so any recipe with maple syrup as a sweetener is bound to peak my interest. All in all this was a fun easy recipe to make. The recipe calls for adding baking soda to boiling water and then adding that to the batter. It turns into a neat example of chemistry in action.
As far as gingerbreads go, this was great. I like it better than Dorie Greenspan's gingerbread which was a bit too bitter because of the espresso chocolate edge. This gingerbread was moist with a medium spice level. I love spicy gingerbread, so next time I make it I will add come finely chopped candied and fresh ginger. I made an 8" cake and a baby gingerbread loaf. As soon as it cooled I froze the 8" cake. I hope to make a layered cake with it sometime soon.
Here's the recipe:
Gingerbread from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger
Makes one 9" pan or twelve 3" round cakes.
Preheat oven to 350 and grease cake pan
2 ½ cups AP Flour
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1 Tbsp ground ginger (increase this if you want a bold ginger flavor)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I omitted this because I didn't have one on hand)
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
½ Cup light brown sugar
½ Cup unsulfured molasses
½ Cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup boiling water
Combine Flour through lemon zest in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the hot butter mixture. Add the eggs and quickly beat with a wooden spoon till smooth. Combine the baking soda with the boiling water. Pour over the batter and stir gently to evenly incorporate.
Pour into greased pan. Bake for about 30 minutes.