02 December 2008

Gingerbread Head

Yes, a sniff of a hot cup of tea is lovely, but nothing else brings the feeling of the season into your house as the smell of gingerbread cooking.

And nothing seems quite so perfect for breakfast than a warm square of it- dusted with matcha, of course- alongside a cup of green tea.


I guess you could make gingerbread in July, but it just seems so out of place, like a cat on a leash or a man wearing a fur coat. (I've unfortunately seen three so far this month.)

We're finally to December, however, and one of the only good things about that is that it's time to make this. So get to it. And break out the good stuff to drink with it. I'm sure a nice, strong black tea would be lovely (Assam or Keemun, perhaps), but I went for my absolute favorite Japanese green, Uji Gyokuro, to make this breakfast a special treat on such a cold morning.

Deep, Dark Gingerbread
Makes: 10 to 12 servings.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
3/4 cup dark honey
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 packed tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1. Heat oven to 325°. Line a 9x9-inch square or 11x7-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, allowing an inch overhang on two sides.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. When molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, whisk in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add milk and grated ginger and stir to combine. Fold in flour mixture in three batches; be careful to not overmix (some lumps will remain).

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 1/4 to
1 1/2 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then lift out with the foil overhang and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

I'm warning you now, this one's a nibbler. You'll walk past it in the kitchen, willing it to cool faster so you can cut it. But you'll break down after about two minutes, saw a little corner off and eat it. Then you'll need to even the row out, so you'll cut a little more. And eat that.

Just think of it as practice for continued holiday eating.

9 comments:

amy said...

i love fresh gingerbread! I make one using a recipe from Nigella Lawson (pretty similar if i remember correctly) and i just LOVE it!

ana dane said...

ooh, is that the lemon-frosted one? i've been wanting to try that one for awhile now...

Bonbon Oiseau said...

i miss gingerbread and that bottom photo is frameable...

Caitlin said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/dining/03berg.html?ref=dining

nadia said...

i love your recipes!! and wonderful green!!

The Wind Attack said...

ohhhh, that green tea and gingerbread combo sounds like HEAVEN!

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