Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's the Holidays...Eat Some Gingerbread

Hi guys!  I’m backJ  As you may have noticed…I took last week off.  I relied on a couple of fabulous guest bloggers to get me through.  We had a great Thanksgiving!  We spent Thanksgiving with Chris’s family in Rough and Ready, CA.  Did you know there is a town named that?  It is right outside of Grass Valley/Nevada City.  All three of those towns are probably the cutest towns ever.  Great little old fashioned downtowns that are so cool to walk around.  You should go;)

We spent the day after Thanksgiving with my family in Concord.  No Black Friday shopping for me.  I have always wanted to try it, but I have yet to get the guts to do it.  Mainly because sleep is so important to me.  If I am getting up at 4am….the house better be on fire.  My second reason is that I have horrible road rage….so I don’t how that would translate to Black Friday shopping.  Probably not well.  But we had a great day with my family, and most importantly….I learned how to play “Words with Friends” on Friday.  That is a story for another time though…..

We put our Christmas tree up on Sunday!  I love, love, love having my Christmas tree up!  So I am officially on the Christmas countdown.  I thought I would kick us off with a recipe that screams “Holidays”.  I am going to show you how to make a Gingerbread Pound Cake with Lemon Sauce.  This is kind of an homage to my mom.  She always talked about how her mom would make her gingerbread with lemon sauce.  Now her gingerbread wasn’t in pound cake form, and her mom used a box of lemon pudding mix (made with extra milk to keep it thin) for the sauce.  So yeah, I used creative license when making mine.  I happen to prefer a pound cake version of gingerbread, and my lemon sauce is actually a homemade lemon curd.  And  yes, this recipe takes a bit more time than my usual recipes….but it’s the holidays folks.  Let loose.

 Let’s start this thing…..

For the pound cake, I used butter, eggs, flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, molasses, vanilla, salt, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves.  This is how you would make regular gingerbread, it just has more butter and eggs.  This makes a denser cake.  I love a good pound cake, and I am not above buying a nice Sara Lee from the freezer section…..but nobody makes a Gingerbread Pound Cake….so make it I must.  Also, I’m not sure why I just turned into Yoda right there.

The cake starts just like any other cake.  With a hand mixer, I beat together softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy.

Then, I beat in the molasses and vanilla.  If you are tempted to taste the molasses….don’t.  I was fooled, once.  I thought “I love stuff with molasses in it.  Straight molasses must be delicious”.  It isn’t.

Once the molasses and vanilla are incorporated, I beat in the eggs, one at a time. 

Now for the dry ingredients…..I whisked together anything dry, i.e. the spices, flour, baking powder, etc.  You really don’t have to “sift”, just whisk.

The dry ingredients get beat into the wet, slowly.  You don’t want to over mix this, so once everything is blended…put down the mixer.

I poured (or rather scooped…this stuff is thick) my batter into a 9x5x3 loaf pan that had been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  You don’t have to use pinking shears to cut your parchment….they happened to be the only scissors I could find.

This bakes at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  When it is done, the top will be dark brown and cracked.  Also, a wooden skewer poked in the middle will come out clean.  It ain’t the prettiest thing, but it will taste amazing!

Let the cake cool before you take it out of the pan.  If you used parchment, it should pop right out.

Let’s make some sauce.

If you read my blog about Margarita Cupcakes, then you know how to make a fruit curd….but let’s go over it again.

I used eggs, butter, sugar and lemon juice.  Feel free to use fresh, real lemons.  I didn’t.

First, you need to make a double boiler.  Just put a glass bowl over a pot that has about 2 inches of simmering water.  The water should not touch the bottom of the glass bowl.  A see through bowl would be preferable….but I prefer to make things harder on myself.

I stirred together the sugar, lemon juice and butter in the glass bowl.  Keep whisking as the butter melts.

Once your butter as melted, beat the eggs in a separate bowl.  The eggs need to be “tempered” which means they are brought to the same temperature as the butter, sugar, lemon mixture slowly.  If you skip this step, your eggs will scramble.  So what I do is add about ¼ a cup of the hot mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.  Once the eggs have been brought to closer to the same temperature, slowly whisk the egg mixture into the mixture in the double boiler.

This was me…..tempering.

I kept cooking the curd over simmering water until it thickened.  Once it starts to thicken….it goes quick, so watch it.  And whisk it.  Remove it from the heat once it is thickened.  The curd will thicken a lot once it cools….just heat it up to thin it out.

Awwww yeeeaah.  Christmas on a plate.  Chris claims to not like gingerbread…but he loved this.  So did the kids.  Addy liked it so much she had it for breakfast today too.  I think your family and friends will love this.  I bet my mom will love it too!

I will see you all on Thursday!

Gingerbread Pound Cake

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup molasses

5 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together softened butter with both sugars with a hand mixer.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Slowly beat in the molasses and vanilla.  Once that is mixed, beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, keeping mixing speed on low.  Beat until incorporated.

Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cake should be dark brown and cracked on the top.

Let cool before turning out of pan.

Lemon Curd

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup sugar

¼ a stick (2 T) of butter

2 eggs

In the top of a double boiler, place lemon juice, sugar and butter.  Cook over simmering water until butter is melted, whisking the whole time.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs.  Add ¼ cup of hot lemon mixture to eggs, beating the whole time.  Once the eggs are warmed, slowly beat eggs into lemon mixture in double boiler.  Keep cooking over simmering water until curd is thickened.  Stir often.  Remove from heat once curd is thick.

No comments:

Post a Comment