Delicious gingerbread with ground ginger, fresh ginger root, molasses and spices
Smell of baking during the month of December is always intoxicating. Yes most of recipes I bake will have lot of spices. Spices are my weakness I like them a lot, as I came from the land of spices - India. My home town Kerala is spice capital of India. Naturally I am happy to bake a Gingerbread loaf as it has loads of spices along with considerable amount of fresh ginger.
This recipe is adapted from the book of The New Sugar & Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking by Samantha Seneviratne. I got a chance to review the book, and as a spice fanatic this book is really great. I tried few recipes from the book, such as a The New chocolate chip cookies with pistachio and this Gingerbread.
The Author begins with Introduction, baking tips, equipment and ingredients in first 11 pages, and then there are 7 chapters. Chapter one deals with Peppercorn and Chile. According to Indian cuisine both spices are used in curries, however Samantha has used it in desserts. I found Black pepper, Dark Chocolate and sour cherry bread interesting. Other recipes using these spices are Mexican hot chocolate pops, Mango lime sorbet and Sweet Fig and Black pepper scones. Salt and pepper caramel brownies sounds intriguing I will try it.
Chapter two is cinnamon; there are 13 recipes in this section, of these, Jaggery Flan, Ricotta Cheesecake with Bourbon-Raisin Jam and Salted caramel cashews looks delicious along with author’s favorite True love cake and new love cake.
Chapter 3 Nutmeg has fried banana fritters, Cazuela cookie bars, frozen eggnog pops. I would love to try Indonesian spiced layer cake and spiced coffee custard.
Chapter 4 Clove and Cardamom has 14 recipes and are Orange-clove pull apart bread, Buttery shortbread with coffee and cardamom, Mango pops, Semlor( Swedish Cream buns) are few. Maple-poached quince sound interesting.
Chapter 5 is Vanilla which has 11 recipes; I would love to try roasted banana ice cream with bittersweet chocolate, Crepe cake with pistachio cream and Cream Tea Brulee. I tried The New chocolate chip cookies for my kids; it is delicious as it used coconut oil instead of butter.
Chapter 6 is Ginger, which also has 11 recipes of which big chewy Apricot and Ginger cookies, Gingerbread pancakes, Chocolate-dipped ginger Macaroons and Ginger bread are few.
The concluding Chapter with Savory Herbs and spices has 8 recipes Fig and Fennel seed biscotti, Saffron currant braid, Blackberry lavender clafoutis sounds interesting.
Pros of this book are each and every recipe has personnel stories attached to it and is interesting to read. Also there is history of spices as well as introduction of each spices, how to buy and store them. Spices like ginger, cloves balance the sweetness very well. You won’t feel it is so sweet.
Cons: I found that not all the recipes have pictures of end products; I would love to see the final product of recipes rather than a vanilla beans or nutmeg pictures. Some recipes are heavily spiced are not kids friendly.
If you like to bake desserts and comes out of normal mold, then this book is for you. Aroma of spices make the desserts not only make baking delicious it also brings out the flavor very well.
I tried Gingerbread recipe from the book, since original recipe serves 12, I made it into mini loaf version which serves only 3 people. It is delicious; I liked that fact that this is only recipes which uses a large amount of fresh ginger about 1 tablespoon for a mini 5 inch loaf. Also the heat of ginger is well balanced with molasses, honey and sugar. My initial plan was to serve this gingerbread with ice cream. Later I changed the idea and served with my coffee. Trust me it is delicious. Give it try you will fell in love with for sure.
“I received complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”
- 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter melted plus more for greasing the pan
- ¼ cup+1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 tablespoon peeled minced fresh ginger
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoon Sour cream/thick yogurt
- ½ lightly beaten egg
- 2 tablespoon warm water
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 5 inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment, leaving a 2 inch overhang on the two sides, butter the parchment.
- In a small bowl, whisk, all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cardamom, salt and cloves.
- In another bowl mix melted butter, sugar, honey, molasses, fresh ginger and orange zest.
- Using wooden spoon mix in the sourcream/yogurt, eggs and warm water.
- Add wet ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well with wooden spoon .
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan
- and bake until the cake is set and tooth pick comes out clean, it takes about 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely.
- For serving you can cut them into small pieces and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Cake can be stored well at room temperature upto 3 days. If you have any left over.
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This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.