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.