Saturday, 15 December 2012

Chocolate-glazed Gingercakes


It's Random Recipes time again, and for this month, Dom asked us to pull out any cookbooks we received for Christmas last year, and to randomly select a book, then a recipe.

My little pile of books from last year were all baking related ... (I was deep in the throws of my US baking frenzy, too) ...

 
Mike randomly chose number 4, which was Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, and the pages fell open at these Chocolate-glazed Gingercakes.
 
 
I wasn't sure what to make of this. The boys already felt a little overwhelmed by ginger recently, what with Gingerbread Cupcakes and my Gingerbread Cottage. And as much as I love the stuff, I was thinking that it wouldn't provide much variety for the blog. But, then again, there was the chocolate!
 
So in honour of one of the tenets of Random Recipes (ie no cheating), I pushed on. These little cakes are the result.
 
 
I did have a bit of trouble with the recipe. First as it's in US cups, and one of mine broke the handle off during measuring the ingredients out, I had to do a bit of juggling. Then, Martha's includes molasses, which I just didn't have to hand and although you can probably find it on line somewhere, I wasn't going to go to those lengths. I just used treacle. I didn't have any fresh ginger, so used a little ginger extract from the store cupboard (I got this at Lakeland). Despite greasing and flouring the pan, some of the cakes were a little reluctant to come out. Although most did eventually, I had to strong arm one of them, and he got a little beaten up in the process. The ingredients remind me of a more traditional gingerbread recipe than I've tended to bake. And I don't know whether the baking soda was responsible, but the baked cakes tasted to me a little astringent.
 
 
The chocolate ganache was supposed to trickle elegantly down the sides of the cakes (you can just make this out in the snap of the book above), but mine didn't want to do this. No sirree. It just clumped together. The ganache above is actually the second batch I made, and I still wasn't totally happy with it. I began to think that it might just have been better to use melted chocolate on its own, without cream.
 
Chocolate-glazed Gingercakes (adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
 
75g softened unsalted butter
225g plain flour
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
150ml warm water
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn ground ginger
3/4 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn ground cloves
14 tspn ground nutmeg
1/4 tspn salt
112g dark brown soft sugar
1 medium egg (57 - 64 g in the shell)
95g treacle
1/4 tspn ginger extract
 
100g dark chocolate
50g double cream
 
crystallised ginger, chopped, to garnish
 
Preheat the oven to 160 Fan, 180 Conventional, 350 F, Gas 4.Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tin.
 
In a small bowl, stir together the bicarbonate of soda and water, then set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt and set aside.
 
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix, Add the molasses, ginger extract and bicarbonate of soda. beat until combined - it'll look a bit curdled at this stage (see above) but will come together as you next add the flour mixture. Again, beat until combined. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan.
 
 
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
 
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out the cakes by inverting the pan over the rack, so the cakes come out upside down. Leave to cool completely.
 
 
Make the ganache by melting the chocolate with the cream , stirring gently. When it's pourable, drizzle over the cakes (it's easiest to put them on some baking paper before you do this - and less messy!). Top with a little sprinkling of the crystallised ginger.
 

So, there we have this month's Random Recipes entry. Dom will be posting a roundup around the end of the month, so why don't you pop over to Belleau Kitchen and have a look. I can't wait to see what books people had for Christmas!


As the theme for this month's Tea Time Treats, organised by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked is chocolate, I'm also entering them for that challenge. This month's host is Kate, and the round up will appear at the end of the month.
 


Finally, as this month's We Should Cocoa challenge is cinnamon, and there is cinnamon and chocolate in these, I'm entering them to Chele of Chocolate Teapot and Choclette, of Chocolate Log Blog, who is hosting this month.


Hope you are having fun with your Christmas baking!

Susie

30 comments:

  1. blinking cups...! they look so adorable and the 'crumb' looks so light and fluffy... love the rich chocolate ganache too, very chic! I think ginger works a charm with chocolate as it keeps it light and not so cloying... I think I have this book too so I shall be having a closer look... thanks for entering this month... here's wishing you and yours a very merry christmas and a happy new year x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your chocolate glazed ginger cakes lush. I'm a big fan of ginger and would prefer this to the traditional mince pie Christmas foods. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this random recipe challenge - what a great idea! I've had that exact same problem with ganache too, although I think that was because I used cheap chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kat - funnily enough the first batch I made was with some expensive choccy - and the oil separated right out from it! Came back a bit as it cooled but still wasn't as silky as it's supposed to be. I got a better result using Asda own brand plain chocolate. Weird - but I guess it's the fat content of the chocolate. :)

      Delete
  4. Hey no one would have been any the wiser of your troubles if you hadn't told us and the cakes look perfect with the chocolate ganache on the top. Merry Christmas looking forward to your blog next year. Better pop over to Belleau Kitchen and get my cooking organised too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww, thank you. But I feel it's better (and more interesting) to reflect what I thought went wrong as well - try and avoid the pitfalls next time! Have a lovely Christmas! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chocolate and ginger is such a wonderful combination, particularly at this time of year. I see nothing wrong with your cakes - certainly nothing that would stop me eating about 4 of them! In one sitting, of course!

    ReplyDelete
  7. im currently in the midst of a chocolate-ginger obsession. I also found 'Grandma's Mollases' in a corner shop in London for £7. I opted for the black treacle at 88p in Morrison s! These little cakes are getting me very excited to use it though! just fab x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Em - it's just not worth it sometimes is it? Sometimes authentic ingredient are just too expensive when you can substitute something else. :) x

      Delete
  8. Chocolate ganache on mini ginger cakes....mmmm.....divine. Great to have your experience too, as is the beauty of RR.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Don't these look fabulous...very professional! I wonder if these would be good warm as a dessert too!? I've never seen the Martha Stewart book either...I may have to investigate! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they would be great as a dessert, warm from the oven with a warm chocolate sauce - maybe with some cold ice cream on the side? Now you've got me thinking ...! :)

      Delete
  10. These look really cute, the thicker ganache hasn't spoiled the look at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo! Maybe it makes for more chocolate then? Mmm ... :)

      Delete
  11. Thank you ever so much for entering these little gems into TTT! What a lovely selection of books to receive for Christmas- looking forward to seeing the cookbooks you receive this year! Happy Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Christmas to you, too! Hope it's a good one. :) x

      Delete
  12. Mmmm chococolate and ginger go so well! Lovely little cakes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What beautiful little cakes! They are too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ooh I do like the idea of these and they look fabulous too despite the lack of elegant drizzle. For a runnier ganache, I would add add substantially more cream. Hope you had a great Christmas and thanks for entering these into We Should Cocoa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Choclette - maybe the cream ratio is the answer. Hope you had a great Cristmas, too and Happy New Year. :)

      Delete
  15. Well, if you hadn't told us about the problems you'd had, I would never have guessed - they look fab. I'm having a bit of a 'thing' about crystallized ginger at the moment, can't get enough of it, so these look especially tempting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sally - I love ginger, made so many things with it over the last few months, but still thinking of trying out more. Ginger Brownies for example! :)

      Delete

I know it's a nuisance but I have had to reinstall 'captcha' due to spammers.

However, your comments are very much appreciated, so please leave a comment if you'd like. I'll respond as soon as I can :)