Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I had a Vietnamese friend whose mother was of Dutch heritage. After dinner, they pulled out two hermetic glass jars, one filled with squares of dark Dutch chocolate and the other with crystallized ginger coins. You ate them together or alternating, while sipping hot, black tea. To me, it was a perfectly memorable way to end a meal.

This combination has blended its way into my gingerbread. With semi-sweet chocolate and minced candied ginger, this cake is dense but oh, so moist and delicious. Sprinkled with sugary snow, it is a wonderful, wintry way to celebrate December and the holidays. You can elevate this into a luscious gingerbread latte cake for a special occasion, topping each slice with coffee whipped cream and grated chocolate. Either way it will be savoured, even at its simplest, perhaps after an effortless meal, with some hot, black tea.

Gingerbread Latte Cake

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 large organic eggs, at room temperature
1 circle crystallized ginger, minced
2 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup mini pure semi-sweet chocolate chips
icing sugar for sprinkling

Coffee Whipped Cream: In a medium bowl, whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar and 1 tsp instant coffee granules until soft peaks form.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a large loaf or square pan (here I used a 12"/30cm Kaiser loaf pan). With a mixer, whip butter and sugars together until fluffy. 

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Add the four ground spices and beat until just incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

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Stir in minced candied ginger.

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In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, mix molasses and buttermilk together. Add a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Then add half the molasses mixture in with the butter mixture, and keep alternating, making sure to stir in between additions and ending with flour. Stir in mini chocolate chips until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes then gently slide out of the pan. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve slices of warm cake topped with coffee whipped cream and grated chocolate or cocoa.

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Inspired by a recipe from The Vineyard Kitchen

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