January 3, 2011

... Chocolate-Swirl Gingerbread

Today was the last day of my holiday vacation and I realized that, besides the could-have-been-a-catastrophe-cupcakes, I haven't baked much lately.  Well, friends, I took care of that situation today and made the epitome of holiday desserts... gingerbread.  This recipe was so quick and easy and I was so happy to find that I had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  Hello!

The cake came out a little dense, but pair it with some light, airy whipped cream and it's a little taste of holiday heaven.

Chocolate-Swirl Gingerbread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square pan.  In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cloves.

Melt the butter in 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth.  Stir in the molasses and lightly beaten egg.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.  With a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate over the batter.  Pour the remaining batter on top, and drizzle the remaining chocolate over the batter in a decorative pattern.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Taylor's Notes:
Ready for a shocker?  I don't own an 8x8 pan.  I know, right?  I thought I had a 9x9 pan, but it seems to have grown legs.  Looks like I know what I'll be putting on my birthday list :)  So... I ended up using a small rectangular glass pan that I have that measured about 7x11.  Random, yes, but did it work?  Yes.  I'm sure the cake would have been thicker than it is, but it still came out just fine.

To create the 'decorative pattern' that the recipe mentions, just drizzle the chocolate in a zig-zag pattern across the cake and drag a knife through the lines.  

Now, go enjoy what little last bit of the holidays you can.

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