I've been meaning to write this post all week but just haven't had the chance to get around to it until now! Aren't things supposed to be less busy after Christmas?? :)
As you may be able to tell from the picture above with the Christmas plate, this Stout Gingerbread Cake with Citrus Sauce is the dessert I made for our family's Christmas dinner (which we enjoyed on Christmas Eve). It was definitely a winner! The recipe comes from Cooking Light, and I found it online at My Recipes. If you click on that link, it'll bring you to the original recipe. And in the reviews, you might just see a review by someone you know. ;) My family and I liked this recipe so much that I thought it deserved a rating from me online!
Although the recipe calls for a stout beer, such as Guinness, I used the beer pictured here, Hibernator by Long Trail, that I picked up right at the awesome Long Trail Brewery in Vermont on my drive home to New York for the holiday. This beer is a Scottish ale, which is a style that's on the darker, maltier side. I figured this would work just fine in place of a stout. Basically, what I needed was a beer that wasn't overly hoppy and/or bitter. A Scottish ale fit the bill perfectly! And coincidentally, if you're a craft beer enthusiast, I'd recommend trying Hibernator if you haven't yet. It's quite a delicious beer and gets great ratings on beeradvocate.com. It's so delicious, in fact, that I had no problem drinking the beer that was remaining (around 10:30 AM on Christmas Eve morning) after I had added one cup of beer to the recipe. My sis took a picture of me to show I had finished the beer. Can't let a good beer go to waste now, can we? :)
Okay, back to the recipe at hand. Do forgive me for getting off tangent there. But when you're marrying a homebrewer and craft beer lover, and are a craft beer lover yourself, it's really hard not to discuss good beer. :)
Ingredients for Gingerbread:
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. ground ginger
-1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1/4 tsp. ground cloves
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup butter, unsalted and softened
-1 large egg
-1/4 cup molasses
-1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (I did not add this; instead, I added another 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger)
-1 cup stout beer (or a dark, malty - non bitter or hoppy - beer)
Ingredients for Citrus Sauce:
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup water
-1 Tbsp. cornstarch
-1 Tbsp. butter
-1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
-1/4 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Or, coat it with cooking spray, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and coat paper with cooking spray. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl, beating with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat until blended. Beat in the molasses and fresh ginger, if using. Add the flour mixture and beer alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely on wire rack.
To prepare the citrus sauce, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, stirring until smooth. Stir in rind, juice, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature and serve with gingerbread.
As you can see, I didn't use a 9-inch round cake pan. Instead, I used my awesome Wilton mini snowflake pan. Isn't it so cute? It gets even cuter once you see the cakes themselves...
Love the four differently shaped snowflakes! The white spots you see on a few of the cakes is just flour from when I sprinkled the pan with flour before filling it with the cake batter.
I sprinkled the cakes with powdered sugar using my mom's sifter... It worked pretty well! I was going for the effect of snow...how'd I do?? I had intended to bring home a little shaker that I have with powdered sugar in it that makes sprinkling powdered sugar very easy but I forgot it. The sifter worked great though instead.
To serve the cakes, I cut them in both halves and thirds, to serve people both bigger and smaller pieces. I poured a generous spoonful of the citrus sauce over the cake, and then topped it off with a dollop of cool whip too. Delicious!
The flavors of the cake itself were wonderful, and the lemon sauce was an excellent compliment to the gingerbread. I highly recommend this combination. It was a perfect Christmas dessert, but I also think it would be awesome at Thanksgiving or throughout the colder weather months. :)