Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie selection, chosen by Heather of Sherry Trifle, is Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. The making of this cake was, for my boyfriend and I, like a comedy of errors. It all seemed to be going so well until we put the cake in the oven.

Every week at the Tuesdays With Dorie site, a post called "P&Q" goes up that allows the members to discuss any issues they have with the week's recipe. Normally, I look at P&Q before I bake. This time, it slipped my mind until the cake had been in the oven for 5 minutes.

It was a bad week to forget - one member discovered that Dorie herself had a tip for this recipe. Apparently, modern 9"x9" pans are anything but - they're 8"x8". You can imagine the batter-covered mess overfilling your pan would make of your oven. I yanked the gingerbread out of the oven while my boyfriend whipped out the measuring tape. Sure enough, my pan was just 8"x8". We scooped out a good 1.5 cups of batter, threw it out (*tear*), and stuck the pan back in the oven. The lovely-scented batter looked so sad in the garbage, but we couldn't be bothered to make cupcakes.

Mini-crisis averted. On to the next one. After the gingerbread finished baking, I took it out and placed it, pan and all, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. A bit of back story: my boyfriend (who is featuring so prominently in this post) is not known for patience when it comes to my baking. Steaming hot cookies? He'll pop them in his mouth as soon as they're out of the oven. He might burn his mouth, but to him, it's always worth it. My suggestions to wait a few minutes always go unheeded. This time was no different. I was on the computer, waiting for the cake to properly cool, when I heard him tentatively say from the kitchen, "Honey, can you come here?" And this is what I saw:

Oh, dear. I'm not sure if the issue was an insufficiently greased pan, an overeager boyfriend, or a delicate bread, but I do know that it didn't make much of a difference to the overall product. And that lopsided gingerbread was pretty funny to look at.

So, about the gingerbread: I used only half of the fresh ginger quantity given (1 tbsp. to the recommended 2 tbsp.) and used semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of bittersweet chocolate. There was a lot of molasses in this recipe and that made for a very strong-flavoured gingerbread. I didn't really notice the fresh ginger, but I'm sure the fact that I halved it had something to do with it.

Overall, I did enjoy this recipe - as did my charmingly impatient boyfriend - but I don't know if I would make it again, at least not just for the two of us. Since it does have such a strong flavour, one small slice per person does the trick. So really, this might be the perfect thing for putting out during the holidays on a tray of sweets, but not well-suited to being eaten in mass quantities for just a few days. Dorie says it freezes well, though, so that's another option to consider - freeze half for later so you don't over-do it.

Thanks for your choice, Heather! You can visit her blog for the recipe.


chocolatechic January 27, 2009 at 10:25:00 AM EST  

Mine stuck to the bottom of the pan too.

My chocolate chunks sunk to the bottom, so I just left mine in the pan.

mike January 27, 2009 at 3:16:00 PM EST  

I am SO glad others have problems baking too! Fortunately, mine went without a hitch! I usually have fallen cakes (in AND out of the oven). Yours still looks (and I'm sure tastes) great! It IS a keeper recipe. Glad your boyfriend enjoyed it too!

Funny, I used a 13X9 pan so I could have "more", and it almost went to the top of that pan...!

Great job Kait!

Flourchild January 27, 2009 at 4:34:00 PM EST  

Try parchment paper, it sure helps! I liked it and Im glad I tried it.

Teanna January 27, 2009 at 4:41:00 PM EST  

Whether it stuck to the pan or not, it still looks delicious! Great job!

n.o.e January 27, 2009 at 5:00:00 PM EST  

Aww, the boyfriend does sound charming. Anyone who appreciates your baking has a lot going for him. I agree; this was perfect to serve to a bunch of people.

Anonymous January 27, 2009 at 5:17:00 PM EST  

If you didn't show us all the pictures, I wouldn't have known there was anything wrong with your ginger bread. it looks gorgeous. i really liked this recipe too.

matty January 27, 2009 at 8:54:00 PM EST  

Thats the last time I help you bake ;)

MaryBeth January 27, 2009 at 8:55:00 PM EST  

So sorry to hear that you had so much trouble, but none the less it looks totally delish.

TeaLady January 28, 2009 at 8:19:00 AM EST  

Mine stuck too, but i cut it up and removed it piece by piece and it came out fine. Also an 8 x 8 and it was just right. Yours came out just fine. Nice job.

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