I’m back! This week’s recipe, chosen for us by Heather of Sherry Trifle, was Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. The name did not convey the awesomeness of this cake.
We’re eating more healthfully lately, so I made a third of the recipe rather than the full thing; we did not need that much cake sitting around tempting us. The recipe in the book makes a 9-inch-square cake. I looked it up: The batter for two cake layers also makes two 9-inch-square pans or 24 cupcakes, as a rule, so I did the math and came up with this one 9-inch cake being the equivalent of 12 cupcakes. So, I thought, if I cut it by two-thirds I’d get four cupcakes. For four of us. Perfect.
But no. I got six cupcakes, filled right up to the top of the paper liners with batter, with enough batter left over for a seventh that I (close your eyes, family!) ate without baking. You see why I had to cut the recipe down; I can’t be trusted.
I used Trader Joe’s bittersweet chocolate; that stuff is amazingly good for as cheap as it is. I don’t know how they do it. I also used the fresh ginger but left out the ginger in syrup. I’m not a big fan of fresh ginger, and Husband doesn’t like ginger at all, not even in the gingerbread houses that we make every year. #1 Son loves the stuff, though. Oh, and I swapped out the molasses for maple syrup, both because I didn’t have any molasses and because I don’t really like the flavor (which is, I suppose, why I didn’t have any!).
I’m also a big fan of milk chocolate, as is #1 Son; Husband and #2 Son prefer dark. It causes quite a bit of familial strife, let me tell you. This cake uses bittersweet, both in the cake and in the icing.
The batter was easy to put together, with no weird steps. (And it was delicious, hence the fate of that sad seventh cupcake.) I had to guess at the baking time, though, since I changed the shape. I started with 15 minutes, but they weren’t nearly done. I added 5 minutes at a time all the way up to 30, by which time I think they were just slightly overdone. The cake was ever-so-slightly dry, but not enough to worry about. And there was a great contrast between the top and the inside.
Despite (or, I must admit, because of) the ginger and the bittersweet chocolate, this cake is amazing: dark and rich and mellow, with flavor you can drown in. The ginger isn’t noticeable as such, but it adds a layer to the chocolate that makes a real difference.
Two-thirds of the family loved the cupcakes; the holdout was truly a surprise.
Husband (said with a full mouth, because he couldn’t stop eating long enough to talk to me): They’re a little dry but great chocolate depth. Lot of rich notes in there, really a nuanced flavor. The ginger is an enhancement rather than a roadblock, which is what ginger usually is for me. The icing’s almost not necessary.
#1 Son: I do get some ginger there, but the overall flavor is sort of flat. It hits you with chocolate and then disappears; that’s all there is to it. They were kind of dry, too.
#2 Son: The cupcake overall is good. The frosting is almost unnecessary (said without having heard Husband say exactly the same thing). The ginger is not distinguishable as a taste, but I would notice its not being there. I liked the big chunks of chocolate, and I liked the fact that the outside was crunchy and the inside was more cake-like.
The cupcakes were still moist and yummy on Day 2; I can’t offer any information beyond that point.
I would definitely make this again, maybe for a party (when I could make the whole recipe).
Go check out what the hundreds of other TWD bloggers did with this cake. And try it yourself: Buy Baking: From My Home to Yours, or head over to Sherry Trifle, where Heather will have the recipe for you.
Tune in next week, for the most amazing cookies the world has even seen. I kid you not. The best. Bar none.