Run, run as fast as you can. . . January 4, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in baking, random stuff, Surly Boy.
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!
Remember how, at Christmastime, I made that gingerbread cake?
Yeah, wow, that was good! I mean, I’m good with gingerbread cookies, and spice cake and such, but Gingerbread Cake?
You have GOT to try this!
Of course, you’ve gotta start with half a bottle of beer. Not just any beer, mind you, but a bottle of stout. (Like Guinness.)
Now, unlike the lager we used for the chili, you may not want to finish the bottle – at least not unless you’re hungry.
Guinness is FILLING. Peeps has always said that you can EAT, or you can DRINK GUINNESS. You can’t do both.
You know, this gingerbread recipe also comes from Cook’s Illustrated – they sure do seem to use a lot of booze out there. I wonder what really goes on in that test kitchen?
Now, to keep your cake from being boozy tasting (because we wouldn’t want that, now would we?) we’re going to boil the beer.
I know, crazy, right?
And while we bring the beer to a boil, I measured my dry ingredients – flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and black pepper.
Yep. Black pepper. It’s not just for dinner anymore.
See, we bring the stout to a boil to cook off some of the boozy flavor. Who wants boozy when they can have ginger and molasses-y?
Once the beer has cooked for a couple of minutes, just shut it off stir in a bit of baking soda. Once it’s done foaming, we’re going to add some molasses, brown sugar and white sugar.
Then gradually whisk in a little vegetable oil, a couple of eggs, and some grated fresh ginger. By this time, the mixture ought to be cooled enough that you can add the eggs without danger of scrambling.
Just go easy, that’s all.
Once that’s whisked together, gradually add the wet (beer-molasses) mixture to the dry (flour-ginger) mixture, a third at a time, whisking after each addition.
Yeah, not what you’d expect for a cake, is it?
This is a cake full of molasses and stout no wimpy folding of ingredients here!
Eventually, we’ll combine the ingredients, and we’ll whisk everything until it’s smooth.
Here’s what I learned.
Once we add the flour, the more we mix the batter, the more the gluten in the wheat flour develops.
In breads, that makes for a sturdier crumb.
In cakes, that makes the cake tough.
In this cake, toughness equals support. It’s plenty tender, what with the 2 eggs and all the sugar.
The Guinness and the molasses? They’re heavy. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a sunken cake – treating the batter gently will only coddle it.
Beat it until your arm is really, really tired.
I think, next time, I’m going to go ahead and use the stand mixer.
Pour the well-mixed batter into a prepared 9×9 pan, and bake it in the center of a 350-degree oven until the cake tests done with the toothpick test – 40-45 minutes.
I’m going to strenuously recommend that you try this recipe.
Yeah, it means you’ve gotta keep Guinness in the house, but St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner anyway. And surely we can find something to do with it, right?