Monday, December 13, 2010

Bundt Cake #6 of Bundt Cake Season 3 - Bold and Spicy Gingerbread

Now this sounds like my kind of ginger cake! My friend Meera contributed this cake to BCS3 and here is her analysis:

Holy cow, this was a fabulous cake, IF you love ginger! (It was too much for my kids, but perfect for me!)

The recipe is from the Cook’s Illustrated holiday baking magazine. It was dark, dense, and wonderfully gingery. One change I would have made, though, is to serve it with whipped or clotted cream, and to maybe not use the glaze. The glaze was too thick as it was in the recipe, so I added the juice from about a half a lemon, and then it became too thin. I don’t know that it added all that much to the cake itself, anyway, but whipped cream (maybe flavored with… Irish whiskey? /me faints dead away) would be a perfect creamy foil to the dense, sharp, peppery cake. Holy gods, it was amazing.

Sounds fabulous, doesn't it? And just in time for the holidays!

Bold & Spicy Gingerbread
From Cook’s Illustrated “Holiday Baking” issue, 2010

16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
2 ½ cups (12 ½ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp table salt
2 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups (10 ½ oz) sugar
4 tsp grated fresh ginger
¾ cup robust (dark) molasses
¾ cup stout beer (see note)

1 ¾ cups (7 oz) confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp ginger ale (see note)
1 tsp ground ginger

For the cake:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375ºF.
Grease and flour 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.
Stir in ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk eggs, sugar, and fresh ginger in large bowl until light and frothy
Stir in melted butter mixture, molasses and stout until incorporated.
Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until no lumps remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and gently tap pan on countertop to release any trapped air bubbles.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool cake in pan 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.

For the glaze:
Whisk confectioners’ sugar, ginger ale, and ginger in bowl until smooth.
Pour glaze over cooled cake.
Let glaze set 15 minutes.

(Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for 2 days.)
Note: Guinness is the test kitchen’s favorite brand of stout. An equal amount of orange or lemon juice can be substituted for the ginger ale in the glaze.

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