Monday, November 07, 2005

It's always the right time for this gingerbread

If you're like most people, gingerbread is an autumnal treat. I guess that makes sense--tradition and all--but you may give a second thought to all of that after trying a piece of this luscious cake.

First mentioned (as far as I know) in the fabulous Bon Appetit magazine, it's the only gingerbread recipe you'll ever need. Top it with sauteed apples or pears, a dollop of whipped cream, or get fancy and break it into pieces for a wonderful wintry trifle (layer the gingerbread with lemon curd and blueberries, for instance).

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

10-inch (10- to 12-cup) bundt pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then turn cake out of pan. Cool completely and dust with confectioners sugar.