Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nigella's Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

I made this for Christmas and while it was absolutely delicious I feel it got lost in the shuffle with all the other sweets flying around. Next year I'll make it for Halloween because I can't help but feel that that's the holiday it was meant for. After all if this dessert were a Halloween costume, it would be the 'naughty nurse' outfit favored by college girls and cougars.

And while Nigella says the flavors might be too much for children, I disagree. It's basically a super rich chocolate sheet cake with a little something extra you can't quite put your finger on. Not really spicy like you would expect, just unapologetically chocolate-y with a pleasantly damp, squishy crumb.

A word of warning - the cake isn't much to look at after it's baked but don't fret. The pourable icing gives it an instant makeover (not accurately depicted by the above image, taken by me via iPhone while a bit tipsy at a holiday party...and on a paper plate no less.)

Nigella's Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
From Feast by Nigella Lawson
Makes about large 12 slabs, but smaller servings are nice too as its so rich.

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup + 2 T dark brown sugar
2 T granulated sugar
3/4 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle's Golden Syrup) or light corn syrup
3/4 c. molasses
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 T warm water
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa
1 cup (or more) semi sweet chocolate chips

For Frosting:
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T butter
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. ginger ale (I used Dr. Pepper as it's what I had on hand)

Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking pan (10X13 pyrex) with parchment paper (so that you can lift it out later.)

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter with the sugars, syrup, molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.

In a separate cup or bowl, dissolve baking soda in warm water.

Take the saucepan off heat and add eggs, milk and soda/water mixture. Stir in flour and cocoa, reserving 2 T or so of the flour.

Toss the chocolate chips in the reserved flour, then fold in floured chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the parchment lined pan and bake about 50-55 min until risen and firm. The middle should still be a little damp under the set top, and will sink a little. Let cool in the pan.

While the cake is cooling, melt the butter, cocoa and ginger ale for the frosting in a small heavy based saucepan. Whisk in the powdered sugar and remove from the heat.

To frost, either remove the cake from the pan, fold down the paper, and pour frosting evenly over the cake (or you can just leave it in the pan and pour over there, removing it to cut up later.) Let frosting set for a few hours or overnight then cut into large slabs.


Bridgett said...

I've been wanting to make this for a while now and I love your honest review that it has a hint of something extra in a chocolate cake. That will work perfectly for me! I think your 'tipsy' photo is perfect.

Jenn said...

Sometimes it really doesn't matter what it looks like...it's how good it tastes that counts the most!! That Nigella.. she's definitely the kitchen goddess!!

Siri said...

Looks unreal! I sort of want Nigella to read me lullabies at night, is that weird?

Karen said...

Scrumptious!! I love anything with chocolate and a good measure of spices. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Looking forward to discovering more delicious recipes on your lovely blog.

Jennifurla said...

Never drink & shoot! LOL

Nice idea, love the texture.

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this looks amazing! and i really love your blog:) thanks for sharing this.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

This looks fantastic. I'm thinking no holiday required... I might just make it next week for no reason at aall! Yum!

Lindsay said...

This looks delicious. And I love anything with a sauce to pour over to hide any imperfections. Many a cheesecake has been saved by that very technique!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Too funny! You have my mind wandering to Valentines Day!!! LOL!

I don't know what you mean when you say "it's not much to look at" I'm in LOVE!!!!!

Mary said...

I am a fan of NL's recipes and this one looks like one more that can be added to the roster. Your picture of the cake looks fine and I loved your assessment of the flavors. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Reeni said...

This looks so rich and fudgy! I bet the hint of spices in it is excellent! I love me some spicy chocolate.

Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic! I think I'm ready for the holidays again just so I can share it :)

Brownieville Girl said...

Well done on remembering to take the photo!!

Looks deliciously moist.

Lisa said...

I recently tried chocolate gingerbread combos this past year and loved the flavor. This cake looks like it would make one delicious dessert.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow this looks so rich, moist and delicious.