Gingerbread: Treat Number One

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Gingerbread!

I’m so excited to bring you the Twelve Treats of Christmas this December! Between now and December 25th, I am going to feature twelve holiday goodies. Some traditional, some modern, all delicious. Great to give neighbors, friends, and (let’s be honest), eat by yourself while wrapping gifts late at night.

This is a traditional English-style gingerbread cake. It is a snap to make, much like brownies (melt everything but the flour in a saucepan, and then stir into the flour.) The result is an ultra-moist, not overly sweet cake that is a  nice afternoon snack with tea or cocoa, or a simple after dinner dessert. Note: I typically try not to use a lot of corn syrup in my recipes, but I make an exception during the holidays when sometimes a substitute just won’t yield something quite as traditional as you’d want. I thought about using maple syrup instead, but I finished our bottle that morning with a giant stack of pancakes. If anyone tries it this way, be sure to let me know how it turns out!

Gingerbread (adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Sticky Gingerbread in Nigella Christmas)

1 stick plus 3 T butter
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup molasses
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 2 T warm water
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 7×11 baking pan with parchment paper or greased foil.

2. Melt butter, corn syrup, molasses, sugar, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in milk. Add baking soda and beaten eggs, stir until completely incorporated.

3. Put two cups flour in separate bowl. Add liquid, and beat until well-mixed (I used a whisk and some elbow grease, but wish I had used my stand mixer. It was tough to get all of the little flour lumps broken down.)

4. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 40-50 minutes. Gingerbread will be risen and firm on top, but try not to overcook as it is delicious when it is moist and sticky. Remove from oven, and let cool as long as you can stand it.

Serve with a little something sweet. I sprinkled some confectioner’s sugar on top, but I think hard sauce would be nice too (if serving warm). Nigella recommends a dollop of lemon-flavored frosting (sift 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar and mix it with 1 T of fresh lemon juice and 1 T of warm water or milk.)

Treat #2 coming soon! Any guesses (or hopes)?


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