Gingerbread this week! Yesssss! Was I alone in doing the fist-pump over this one? (Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world who actually likes gingerbread cake. Seriously, mention it to people and they kind of grimace at you and mutter things like “sticky” and “molasses bomb.” Now I know how the last of the Mohicans felt.)
So, yes, I was psyched. And of course chocolate makes everything better, so the gingerbread-chocolate combo was already whispering sweet nothings in my ear, before it was even in the oven.
My gingerbread cake contained ground ginger and grated fresh ginger. (Actually, frozen ginger. My favorite ginger trick to to freeze it as soon as I buy it. It lasts forever that way, and it’s super easy to peel and run down the microplane while frozen! I end up with beautifully shredded ginger snowflakes, as opposed to the stringy fibrous mess I usually get when using fresh.) The recipe also called for stem ginger in syrup, but I didn’t make the effort to go to the nearest Asian supermarket, so no ginger hat trick for me.
I thought the ginger flavor was good, but being a big ginger lover, I thought it could have had more, and if I were to make it again, I’d definitely either up the fresh ginger, or seek out the fancy-pants stem ginger.
In addition to having melted and chopped chocolate in the batter, the cake is finished with a chocolate frosting. I actually had a bunch of ganache leftover from another baking project, so I just poured some ganache on top. (Getting rid of leftovers AND slathering a cake in chocolate? Score!) The slices were finished with slivers of candied ginger, which–now that I think about it–would also have been good in the cake. Thanks for the late contribution, brain.
You might have noticed I’m not rhapsodizing on and on about how nice it was to be reunited with gingerbread. The sad truth is, my cake was pretty dry. I was doing approximately 14 other things while I baked this, including other baking projects, updating my ipod, and talking on my notoriously finnicky cell phone that often requires serious feats of gymnastics to keep a signal. Suffice it to say, all of my attention was not directed toward the delicious eats in my oven. So even though it only baked for 38 minutes (the instructions said 40) I am taking the blame on this one for possibly overcooking.
So the flavors were awesome, and the soft luscious layer of ganache on top was literally the icing on the cake, but the too-dry texture prevented me from really loving this cake. Which is actually a bonus, since the diet is still (ostensibly) in full effect. I would definitely give this another go, watching the baking more carefully, and possibly cutting down on the batter to get smaller pieces. My slices did end up a little larger and in charge–hubba hubba!