Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread this week! Yesssss! Was I alone in doing the fist-pump over this one? (Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world who actually likes gingerbread cake. Seriously, mention it to people and they kind of grimace at you and mutter things like "sticky" and "molasses bomb." Now I know how the last of the Mohicans felt.)

So, yes, I was psyched. And of course chocolate makes everything better, so the gingerbread-chocolate combo was already whispering sweet nothings in my ear, before it was even in the oven.
My gingerbread cake contained ground ginger and grated fresh ginger. (Actually, frozen ginger. My favorite ginger trick to to freeze it as soon as I buy it. It lasts forever that way, and it's super easy to peel and run down the microplane while frozen! I end up with beautifully shredded ginger snowflakes, as opposed to the stringy fibrous mess I usually get when using fresh.) The recipe also called for stem ginger in syrup, but I didn't make the effort to go to the nearest Asian supermarket, so no ginger hat trick for me.

I thought the ginger flavor was good, but being a big ginger lover, I thought it could have had more, and if I were to make it again, I'd definitely either up the fresh ginger, or seek out the fancy-pants stem ginger.
In addition to having melted and chopped chocolate in the batter, the cake is finished with a chocolate frosting. I actually had a bunch of ganache leftover from another baking project, so I just poured some ganache on top. (Getting rid of leftovers AND slathering a cake in chocolate? Score!) The slices were finished with slivers of candied ginger, which--now that I think about it--would also have been good in the cake. Thanks for the late contribution, brain.

You might have noticed I'm not rhapsodizing on and on about how nice it was to be reunited with gingerbread. The sad truth is, my cake was pretty dry. I was doing approximately 14 other things while I baked this, including other baking projects, updating my ipod, and talking on my notoriously finnicky cell phone that often requires serious feats of gymnastics to keep a signal. Suffice it to say, all of my attention was not directed toward the delicious eats in my oven. So even though it only baked for 38 minutes (the instructions said 40) I am taking the blame on this one for possibly overcooking.

So the flavors were awesome, and the soft luscious layer of ganache on top was literally the icing on the cake, but the too-dry texture prevented me from really loving this cake. Which is actually a bonus, since the diet is still (ostensibly) in full effect. I would definitely give this another go, watching the baking more carefully, and possibly cutting down on the batter to get smaller pieces. My slices did end up a little larger and in charge--hubba hubba!

20 comments:

  1. I'm sorry it turned out a bit dry, but WOW is it gorgeous! I want steal all of the ganache off of each cake! so gorgeous!

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  2. Your cake looks fabulous.

    I lessened the amount of ginger I used.

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  3. The cake looks fantastic!! I love gingerbread!

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  4. Your cake came out great good job!

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  5. Sometimes multitasking and baking don't mix. JUST SAY NO!:)

    Your cake is gorgeous...you did a fantastic job!!!

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  6. You gingerbread looks FABULOUS, so I am sorry that it was a little too dry for you and didn't totally live up to your expectations as a gingerbread lover. Failure to completely focus in the kitchen gets me into trouble day in and day out. But do I ever learn? No, I do not. I LOVE the candied ginger on your g'bread!

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  7. I love the thick layer of ganache on top! It looks great! Too bad yours turned out dry. :(

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  8. Your gingerbread looks gorgeous. It doesn't look dry at all. I love your decorations on top. I really loved this recipe. Almost too much. :P

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  9. Hubba hubba indeed :) I looove crystallized ginger, so your presentation looks perfect to me. Sorry it was a bit dry.

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  10. Too bad you didn't love it, but it looks great with the ginger on top!

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  11. Maybe soak it in a chocolate liquer to bring back the moistness. Do they make a ginger liquer?? Looks pretty, tho'.

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  12. Sorry it was dry...but it looks fantastic! I love the crystallized ginger on top!

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  13. Ooh, the ganache on top looks heavenly. I love gingerbread cake, too- and with chocolate chunks and frosting. Even better!
    BTW, you weren't the only one excited about this recipe, but I think you were the only one who did a fist-pump. :)

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  14. Who doesn't like gingerbread, are they the same people who don't like fruitcake, I mean real fruitcake? Your gingerbread looks great with chocolate, I also like it with a lemon topping that soaks into the cake when it is still warm. I just stumbled on your blog and love it, may I put you on my blogroll? I guess you are a fan of Eddie Izzard...he is one of my heroes! Thanks and keep up the good work...nice photos too...Patricia

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  15. OHHH YUM!! I was unable to do my baking for this week but I really want to try this recipe out.. your cake looks fantastic!! Could you ship me some???? ;)

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  16. Great little dec on the gingerbread. I had issues with dryness as well, lack of attention measuring butta... Woops! Think I'll shorten the baking time some more. Sorry you weren't wowed either.
    AmyRuth

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  17. Just gorgeous. I did add the crystallized ginger. It was a nice touch.

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  18. I love the fact that, as a baker, you just happened to have some ganache left over! I liked this and was excited to make it, too. Mine came out really moist.My oven tends to run too cold so I end up watching everything like a hawk because I have to increase the temperature. Your garnishes are so simple and elegant!

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  19. So sorry about the dryness. For me the moist crumb was the best thing this cake had going for it. Well and the smell. And the icing. But not the taste!
    Nancy

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  20. Anonymous12:46 PM

    Where can I find the recipe for the Chocolate Gingerbread Cake? It looks wonderful ....

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