On my wait to get my bundt cake pan (see the Harvey Wallbanger post), I obsessively looked for other recipes I could make in the pan. Well, I ran across a gingerbread recipe which sounded amazing, so I decided that should be my next baking adventure.
As a little background, when I was living in Albuquerque, NM, I became enamored with the gingerbread at a restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes. Sweet Tomatoes is a salad bar chain, with salads, soups, breads, and other things. While most things there were pretty average, they always had a giant slab of gingerbread available, and I quickly fell in love with the soft, delicious bread. It became an excuse to go to the restaurant in all honesty. So when I ran across a recipe from Gramercy Tavern in New York City, I was eager to give it a try.
One thing about this recipe which really drew me in was that it is apparently a very lush, decadent, and spicy gingerbread. I’m all about intense flavors, so it seemed like the recipe for me. The recipe calls for molasses, which as an American I’m quite familiar with, and I started looking online at the local store for the ingredients. Of course, molasses doesn’t seem to exist in the UK. Well, it doesn’t exist as molasses. They make something here called treacle which according to Wikipedia comes in two varieties. The light variety is often called golden syrup, and I have used that in the past as a substitute for corn syrup in pecan pie. There is also a dark version. Sites online said it was the same as molasses, but Wikipedia claims it is between golden syrup and molasses. Anyway, it seemed to be my only option, and I was slightly concerned it was going to be more like dark corn syrup than molasses.
My concerns were unnecessary. As soon as I opened the tin, the dark, rich smells that I associate with molasses came drifting out and into my nose. I was elated. I don’t use molasses very often, but now I know that dark treacle will work exquisitely as a substitute if I ever need it again. Anyway, I put together the gingerbread, and it turned out amazing:
I couldn’t wait to cut in. The smells of gingerbread were amazing and wafting through the house. I finally let it cool enough and grabbed a slice. I had it with a dollop of clotted cream which I’ve grown to love since living in the UK. It’s a bit sweeter than whipped cream and a bit denser, but the flavor went very nice with the intensity of the gingerbread.
One thing I really wanted to do while making the gingerbread was to use Young’s Double Chocolate stout in the gingerbread instead of Guiness or oatmeal stout. A chocolate stout usually has no chocolate in it, and it is just named that because of the type of malt they use in the stout. Young’s actually uses chocolate as well (hence the double chocolate), and I thought it would add another level of complexity. I couldn’t find it at the store I went to, so next time I’ll have to plan a bit more and find a bottle of it for use in the gingerbread.