The Cake Slice September 2011: Chocolate Gingerbread
This month was extra special for the Cake Slice Bakers as it marks the end of our year baking from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman. As of next month, we will now be baking from a new cake book for the upcoming year! Each month the cakes are chosen by a member vote, but as this was to be our last cake from our current book, we were all allowed to select which cake we would like to bake. As the weather had been dull, cold and wet I felt in the need for something spicy and warming and settled on a recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread.
I’d never tried a chocolate gingerbread before, but was intrigued by the idea of adding a chocolaty note to this spicy cake. It sounded wonderfully warming and autumnal.
The cake was also a little different to other gingerbreads I’ve made as along with the usual spices it also contained chocolate chips, ground black pepper and espresso powder. I decided to leave the espresso out but loved the addition of the chocolate chips. I forgot to add mine into the batter and so ended up sprinkling them on top instead which created little pools of molted chocolate which were delicious.
The cake had a very strong flavour of molasses and that paired with the cocoa powder made for one very dark, rich smelling cake. I loved the colour but found the flavour of the molasses to be too overpowering. I didn’t really get much of a cocoa flavour, apart from when I hit a chunk of chocolate, and found the spices were sort of lost against the strong treacle molasses flavour. It was definitely a spicy tasting cake, but I would have trouble knowing it was a ginger cake. Next time I’d reduce the black treacle and increase the amount of ginger I used.
The cake itself was light and moist with a lovely sticky surface. It had a soft, slightly damp texture which gave it a pudding feel. It tasted fabulous warmed with a little custard, the perfect thing to tuck into on a cold evening.
Strangely enough, after a couple of days the cake went a little dry instead of going even sticker like traditional gingerbread. All in all it was a very nice cake, but I feel with a few alternations it could become something really special
Now for some exciting news! As this was our last cake from our current cake book, we are now opening up group to fellow cake baking enthusiasts who wish to bake with us for the upcoming year. Places are limited and you will need to buy a copy of the new cake book to participate, so dedicated bakers only please.
Anyone wishing to join us can email me at (appleandspice[AT]hotmail.co.uk) along with their name, blog name, blog URL and email address for details. Please put ‘New Cake Slice Member’ in the subject box.
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
120g black treacle or molasses
120g plain flour (I used 100g white teff flour & 20g brown rice flour)
170ml hot water
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
110g light soft brown sugar
1 egg yolk
50g dark chocolate chips
½ tsp espresso powder (I left this out)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour an 8inch/20cm square baking tin.
Stir together the hot water and black treacle and set aside to cool.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso and all the spices into a bowl and set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in a separate large mixing bowl and beat together until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Pour in half the molasses mixture and carefully whisk until combined. Scatter over half the flour mixture and whisk again, followed by the rest of the molasses mixture and finishing with the rest of the flour.
Fold in the dark chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until firm and springy to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack and leaving to cool.
Cut into squares and serve.
Makes one 8inch/20cm cake. Best eaten within 2 days.
I baked my cake in a 9inch tin and got a thinner cake. It took 20 minutes to bake.
I would reduce the molasses to 80g, as I found the flavour very overpowering
I would double the ground ginger stated in the recipe as it was quite subtle.
I’d also line the tin as well as greasing it, as some of my cake stuck to the base when I tried to turn it out.