Really Good Gingerbread
With a recipe named Really Good Gingerbread, how could I not try it? Although recipe names aren’t always accurate; Bill Granger’s Never Fail Chocolate Cake failed when I made it. Putting the words never and fail in a recipe name is just setting you up for failure.
This recipe did involve a trip to the health food store to find some blackstrap molasses.
I was hoping I could get away with what I thought would be ‘regular molasses’ but turns out there isn’t such a thing. There are four types of molasses; lite molasses, cooking molasses, unsulphured molasses and blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is lower in sugar than the other varieties. To find out the difference check out this link : www.helium.com/items/315569-blackstrap-molasses-vs-regular-molasses-understanding-the-difference
Verdict? It was really good! The addition of cream with extra chopped crystallised ginger, totally unnecessary but extra decadent. Luckily I liked it, cos I don’t know what else to do with the rest of the jar of blackstrap molasses!!
Really Good Gingerbread
1½ cups (225g) plain flour, plus extra to dust
½ tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsp ground ginger (as fresh as possible)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice or nutmeg
7 small lumps crystallised ginger, chopped, plus extra chopped to serve
125g unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
1 lightly packed up (160g) brown sugar
½ cup (185g) blackstrap molasses (available at health food stores)
1 tbs finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
½ cup (125ml) buttermilk
1½ tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust
Softly whipped thickened cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base with buttered baking paper and dust with flour.
2. Sift flour, soda and ground spices into a large bowl. Stir in the crystallised ginger, then set aside. Place butter and brown sugar in another bowl, and beat with an electric beater on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each additions – don’t worry if the batter looks curdled, it will smooth out when you add the flour. Mix in fresh ginger and zest, then gently beat in the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat on low speed until just combined.
3. Scrape into the pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top feels springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully loosen around the sides and invert onto the rack to cool completely.
5. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into 12 slices. Top with cream and extra crystallised ginger. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for up to 10 days, if you prefer it stickier.