Old-Fashioned Gingerbread with Vanilla Sauce
This gingerbread recipe is so easy, and it makes an economical and absolutely scrumptious snack or dessert. Sprinkle the gingerbread with powdered sugar and serve warm. Alternatively, serve with whipped cream or with some vanilla sauce (see accompanying recipe). The gingerbread freezes well.
Some gingerbread recipes ask you to cream the butter and sugar; this one uses boiling water to melt the butter. Just make sure you cut the butter in small pieces so that it melts quickly.
Yield: 1 cake; 12 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes
Spice meter: Moderately spiced
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8-x-8-inch square baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the crystallized ginger, if you’re using it, and stir. Set aside.
Put the butter in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir until the butter melts. Add the sugar, molasses, and egg. Stir well with a whisk or wooden spoon.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the flour is just blended. The batter will be runny.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Once cool, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar, if you want.
To dust baked goods, put a little confectioners' sugar in a sieve and hold the sieve over the top of the item to be dusted. Gently tap the side of the sieve with one hand while moving the sieve so that the entire surface is lightly and evenly sprinkled with the sugar. You can use the same method to dust desserts with cocoa.
Per serving: Calories 187 (From Fat 57); Fat 6g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 33mg; Sodium 84mg; Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.
This lovely sauce can be served with ice cream, cakes, bread pudding, or poached fruit. Covered, it keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Reheat leftover sauce in a double boiler or over low heat while stirring frequently.
Yield: About 1-1/4 cups
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 25 minutes
Spice meter: Mildly spiced
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean, if you’re using a bean. Simmer until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
Add the sugar and salt to the pan and cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat until the sugar is melted and the sauce is glossy and slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat. If using vanilla extract, add it now and stir to blend. Serve the sauce while it’s warm. This sauce can be reheated in a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave.
After infusing, wash the vanilla bean and pat it dry. Wrap it in foil and reserve it for another use.
Per recipe: Calories 303 (From Fat 203); Fat 23g (Saturated 14g); Cholesterol 72mg; Sodium 36mg; Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 1g.