the moveable feasts

Classic Stout Gingerbread

with 12 comments

I’m not sure about you, but gingerbread isn’t something that’s too common in my life. Maybe it’s just the people I associate with, but it seems like no one I know ever eats it and no one really asks about it. Is there suppose to be some grandma in my family who delivers a homemade loaf of gingerbread to a family party every year, among other goodies? Even though it’d be nice to have that type of tradition, I have no such gingerbread grandma and my family rarely has any sort of extended family get-togethers.

Maybe I’ll become one of those gingerbread grandmas one day, you know, when I’m old. Wouldn’t that be fun! To be the one who’s a stickler about following traditions and always bringing the treats that people associate lovingly with certain memories and times of the year. Now that is something I could be when I grow up. I could pass recipes on to other people and sneakily call them my own even though they came from the back of the ingredient box or from some well known website. This gingerbread will be one of them, I’m pretty sure.

This was the second year I’ve made this gingerbread. My mom’s already asked for a second round of it this season–but this next time a double batch. It’s moist and spicy and full flavored from plenty of ginger, molasses and a helping of stout. Cook’s Illustrated, where the recipe comes from, describes it as a “snack cake,” which I think is pretty fitting, seeing as it’s not sweet enough for me to label it as a full-out cake and the crumb is more tender than dense. Cook’s prides themselves on developing this gingerbread to not suffer a gummy, sunken center, and their recipe delivers: the crumb is uniform throughout.

I’m planning on making this at least once a year from now on (or, like in this case, twice a year). Sooner or later I won’t get the typical response of “…do you mean gingerbread cookies?” when I tell someone that I’m making gingerbread. No, gingerbread will be associated with the holidays and family and before everyone knows it, it’ll be a tradition.

Classic Stout Gingerbread
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, January 2011
Serves about 8-10, or one 8-inch square cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger (if you’re extremely sensitive to heat, lower this to 1 /2 or maybe 1 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3/4 cup stout
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and center a oven rack in the middle. Grease and flour an 8-inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk flour, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and the black pepper together in a large bowl; set aside.

Heat the stout in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda–at this point the mixture will foam vigorously and smell a little funny. When the foaming subsides, stir in the molasses, brown sugar and granulated sugar until it dissolves.  Transfer stout mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, oil and grated ginger until combined.

In thirds, pour and combine the wet stout-molasses mixture into the dry flour mixture, stirring vigorously until completely smooth after each addition.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and gently tap against the counter three or four times or so to get rid of any large air bubbles. Bake until the top of the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on wire rack until closer to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

Written by Amy

December 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Cakes

Tagged with , ,

12 Responses

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  1. First thing on my list when I get home tomorrow. I’ve been a big stout fan lately, not sure why. Maybe I need the iron? This looks great, and I must be considered an outlier, I love gingerbread and consume it frequently in the winter months.


    December 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

  2. I love the idea of starting new family traditions…I want to be one of those grandmas too! Gorgeous recipe & perfect for Christmas. Yum :-)


    December 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

  3. I love love love proper gingerbread cake and this looks so wonderful and moist, I’m not surprised it’s quickly become part of your family traditions!


    December 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

  4. This gingerbread looks so moist. I will admit, I’ve never had gingerbread in any form other than a cookie. I like your idea about starting a new tradition for the holidays.


    December 21, 2011 at 4:19 am

  5. We don’t really have much gingerbread in my family either, so maybe I need to start the tradition as well! This looks like some deliciously moist gingerbread! :)


    December 21, 2011 at 5:48 am

  6. Found you on tastespotting. Love your blog! I’ve just started blogging too and it’s awesome to see so many people making gorgeous food like this. Have a great Christmas! Feel free to pop over and say hi sometime x

    Scrambled Megs

    December 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

  7. This looks delicious Amy! Also, I love your writing style.
    I’ve been getting progressively more depressed as the day goes on cause I have to leave for the airport in a few hours, so I thought I’d stop by your page and cheer myself up, and hey, it worked. Gotta come back to the States to get some gingerbread!

    Abbey Asaayi Davies

    December 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

  8. How interesting, I have used stout when making roast, but never in baked goods – I imagine this flavor combination being amazing. If I close my eyes for a moment I can picture myself eating this in the Guinness Factory in Dublin (they have a wonderful roof-top set-up) with a pint by my side! Happy new year, I am pleased that I discovered your blog today – I plan to visit again!

    Yosef Silver

    December 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  9. Could not think of better fare for this time of year if I tried. Just gorgeous.

    Tori @ eatori

    December 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm

  10. Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my blog thus i got here to return the choose?.I am attempting to find things to improve my site!I guess its good enough to make use of a few of your ideas!!

  11. […] In case you are in need of some Christmas baking inspiration, may I recommend a few of my favorite recipes? Some holiday-appropriate ones that I’ve already posted about on this site include: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (probably my personal favorite cookie), Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies, Nanaimo Bars, Homemade Thin Mints, Salted Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, Ginger Slice, and Stout Gingerbread. […]

  12. […] Year Ago: Far Breton Two Years Ago: Stout Gingerbread and Raspberry-Almond Linzer […]

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