Okay, I think this is the latest I've done a Tuesdays with Dorie post that was still technically on time. This week's selection comes from Heather of Sherry Trifle. She chose Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. I hear about gingerbread a lot from Gillian, actually. At her daycare, the children have various things in the classroom (cubbies, placemats) labeled with their names and a picture of something that starts with the same letter as their name. Gillian's is a gingerbread man. I appreciate that they took the time to find something that starts with the soft g sound (I guess giraffe would have worked, too). =)
I like most things that are chocolate, and I like baking with spices as well. But I was a bit skeptical about combining the two, especially after reading some of the reviews from the other bakers. And my chocolate stash is somewhat depleted at the moment, after making chocolate birthday cake and cupcakes over the weekend. I started to add up just how much chocolate I used, and I think it was about 2 pounds all together. Scary, huh? But it was for a 13"x9" cake and two dozen cupcakes. Anyway, since I'm a bit tired of chocolate right now (crazy, I know!), I did make a couple of small changes to the recipe.
This recipe calls for fresh ginger as well as dried, and you have the option of adding stem ginger (or crystallized ginger) as well. There's some melted chocolate in the batter and some chunks stirred in at the end. And then you finish everything off with a chocolate glaze. I used my microplane grater on the ginger, and only grated about a tablespoon of it. One taste was enough to remind me that, like garlic, the finer you chop or grate ginger, the stronger it tastes. One tablespoon (as opposed to two) was plenty. I used the full amount of dried ginger, cinnamon and cloves. As I was mixing the dried ingredients together, I realized that I'd forgotten to add the salt. That's when I realized that the recipe doesn't have any, so I added a quarter teaspoon. I didn't add any crystallized ginger. For the 2 ounces of melted chocolate, I used some El Rey 70%. I had part of a bag of semisweet mini chips left in my pantry, so I added those instead of chunks of chocolate (3 ounces).
I made sure I used my 9" square baking pan. And thanks to Kim for the great idea to line the pan with a parchment sling. I baked my gingerbread for 40 minutes. When I first tested it, I thought it wasn't done, then I realized that I'd hit some chocolate chips with the toothpick. =) I let it cool for a bit, but we dug into it while it was still warm, since I wanted to get this done sometime tonight...
The verdict? I liked it quite a bit, and Jamie did as well. I skipped the glaze and just topped the warm gingerbread with some vanilla ice cream. That was a great match. The chocolate didn't stand out a lot, but did add something to the cake. I could still taste the spices, and there was a bit of a bite from the fresh ginger. I can see myself making this one again if I'm in the right mood. I'll have to see what Gillian and Brianna think tomorrow.
If you want to give this one a try, head over to Heather's blog for the recipe. And check out the list of bakers over at TWD to see how everyone else did this week.