Forget gift giving. For me, enjoying my favorite holiday foods the essential part of a Merry Christmas. Gravlax, Swedish meatballs and a big English breakfast on Christmas morning are all long-standing traditions in my home and when I eat them I am reconnected with holidays past.
Every Christmas I make my favorite gingerbread cake, which is based on a recipe from Claudia Fleming when I worked for her at Gramercy Tavern in the nineties. This gingerbread uses stout and fresh ginger, which along with the more traditional molasses and dried ginger, gives this cake an intense, bright flavor. We often eat it for dessert on Christmas Day, but this cake stays fresh for several weeks, so I’m usually enjoying it happily (for dessert, snack even breakfast) through the New Year.
2 -3 tablespoons melted butter for greasing the pan
2 cups stout
2 cups unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1½ cups butter, melted and cooled
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
¼ cup freshly grated ginger
- Heat oven to 325F. Butter a 10-12 cup Bundt pan.
- In a large saucepot, combine the stout and molasses and cring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. This will cause the mixture to bubble-up. Let the pan rest off the heat until the bubbles are gone and the liquid is cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugars and melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and dry spices.
- Mix the cooled molasses mixture with the egg mixture. Slowly add these blended liquids to the flour mixture. Stir in the fresh ginger.
- Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for 75 minutes, or until the top begins to crack and spring back when gently touched with your finger. Cool completely before unmolding from the pan.