Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chocolate Gingerbread

There's a bite in the air that can only mean that fall is officially here. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the changing leaves, especially on Japanese Maples, the flowers, and I love that since it's cooler, it's better running weather.
This is also one of the few times a year that gingerbread sounds really good. I'll almost always accept gingerbread on the off chance that someone offers me a slice, but I seldom make it. But when the air gets brisk, tea and gingerbread sounds perfect.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but about two weeks ago, I found Lara Ferroni's blog Food Travel Life. Someone had linked to her chocolate gingerbread, and it sounded amazing. To ensure I wouldn't lose the recipe, I left the tab open in my browser over those two weeks (a habit that befuddles Clive).
Today, life calmed down just a little bit, and a two hour window of time was open before me. I made gingerbread. There are few things that make a house smell so amazing as gingerbread. It smells like the holidays, but without the stress and chaos (and without the mandatory deep cleaning).
If you are a fan of chocolate and ginger and having a house that smells divine, you should make this. I used a standard loaf pan, hoping to have gingerbread for breakfast for the next few days. If things continue as they started out, that might be wishful thinking, since the loaf is half gone already. If you suspect something similar may happen in your house, I'd recommend doubling the recipe; it won't go to waste.

Chocolate Gingerbread, from Food Travel Life
Makes one loaf

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, diced
3/4 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly butter a loaf pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and molasses together and add all at once to the butter mixture. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Fold in the crystalized ginger and chocolate chips. Turn the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a knife comes clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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