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)
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!