Adapted from Baking, From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
With a hot cup of chaa in my hand, I stared out my window into the winter wonderland before me. The snowflakes gently floated from above in a steady haze of cool white. Slowly, ever so slowly they whisped side to side eventually settling atop a mound of snow. We had our first real snowfall a couple of weeks ago and it has been gradually accumulating ever since. I could have sat there forever, watching this delight but alas I knew the kids would be home soon and I really should’ve been baking something for their afternoon snack.
I was out shopping that morning and the Christmas songs from the stores kept playing repeatedly in my head. Suddenly I snapped out of my reverie and decided to make this heavenly chocolate cake that I make, quite often, from Dorie Greenspan’s book “Baking, From My Home to Yours”. In the spirit of the holiday season I felt I needed to make a warm and ‘spiced’ laced cake. It’s moist and is perfectly studded with chocolate chunks and has hints of clove, cinnamon and some ginger. The cake is not too gingery, it has just the right amount of heat as not to scare anyone away.
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter (11 tablespoons)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1/2 cup mollasses
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
Put the fresh ginger and sugar into a bowl and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda and spices in a separate bowl.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time. Beating well after each addition.
Pour in the molasses and mix until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate and ginger-sugar mixture. Stir.
Add the 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stir to combine, add 1/2 of the buttermilk and stir again.
Continue alternating the flour and buttermilk until they are finished.
Don’t over mix.
Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into a greased pan. (10″ round pan)
Bake for about 40 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
This amazing recipe book was given to me by a dear friend as a parting gift when I moved away from Wisconsin. I was truly blessed to have a great friend, who loved good food too, and lived right next door. I turn to this book countless of times to satisfy my baking frenzies. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves baking. It has a plethora of advice and Dorie makes it so easy to follow. And, no, I was not paid to say this, I truly love this book. It is my baking bible – sorry Julia!
I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I do however have fond memories of going late night shopping with my parents during this holiday back in Zimbabwe. We were thrilled, as children, to see the Christmas light display in the town center. It was fun to run about and play catch with my sister and cousins around the outdoor mall at night. I remember the sounds of the crickets chirping as they mingled with the Christmas songs and the music drifting along the light breeze towards us from the open stores. It was such a fabulous experience I can’t possibly describe in words. After our little light extravaganza and some shopping, my parents would treat us to an ice-cream cone at the local ice-cream store.
It has been fun recently, driving around our neighborhood, looking at the beautifully lighted and decorated homes amidst the beauty of the snow. We just saw the “Hollidazzle Parade” in downtown Minneapolis that was tonnes of fun. Hopefully, we’re creating good memories for our kids too!
I slightly deviated from the original recipe. I didn’t use the candied ginger or chunks of chocolate (I used choc-chips instead). And I baked the cake in a 10 inch round cake pan. Dories recipe does call for frosting but I feel the cake holds on its own. If you’d like to add more to the cake, a simple glace frosting would do. I, however, definitely recommend adding her book to your repertoire. It’s an amazing book “choc-full” of lovely recipes that truly work!