Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie—Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

"Someone is speaking well of you at this very moment."
I love fortune cookies. They make me feel like a child hoping I'll get a good fortune that will come true. Each New Year's Eve, I pass around fortune cookies to everyone at the table, and we all read them out to each other, always adding "in bed" at the end and giggling like teenagers.

"You will inherit a large sum of money."
One year, I cracked opened my fortune cookie and it was empty. It turned out to be a tough year! This year, the fortune cookies I bought were dipped in white chocolate and all contained two or three fortunes in each. Before photographing this cake I noticed there was one fortune cookie remaining in the container on the counter from the holidays. And since it was Chinese New Year yesterday, I cracked it open to find four fortunes!

"Someone is watching you from afar."
I baked this cake in my cast iron pan that I found several years ago at a garage sale where a retired foodie was selling many of his prized cooking items. This was a great buy since I've used it often, but never for something sweet. Now I have a list of treats I want to bake up in my pan.


Makes 1 9-inch square pan or 1 10-inch diameter cast iron pan (bake longer if using this size of cast iron pan and check the middle to ensure the cake is done)

Ingredients for Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
For the cake:
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup packed, light brown sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup molasses
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (2 ounces melted, 4 ounces finely chopped)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely chopped stem ginger in syrup

For the icing:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon strong coffee
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar (sifted)

You can find the recipe for Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here. Dorie also wrote about this cake on Serious Eats and on her blog she recommends freezing this cake to have on hand. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger! Thanks to Heather of Sherry Trifle who chose the recipe for this week and will post the recipe.

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate GingerbreadTasting Notes
I love ginger, and I love chocolate. Together, the taste was interesting. The cake was moist and the stem ginger added a little zing to some bites. Although it's not my favorite cake, it was fun to use my cast iron pan in this way. And Dorie says this cake freezes well, iced and all. So, I'll probably pop half of it in the freezer to pull out and share with friends and family.

"You tend to think things out thoroughly and seriously.
Recipe for Next Week (February 3)
World Peace Cookies on pages 138-139 chosen by Jessica of cookbookhabit.

Other gingerbread and cast iron baking ideas
• A review of The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen from Baking Bites
Gingerbread cookies and cookie cups
Swedish Apple Cake from Dorie at Serious Eats
Cardamom Pear Cake from Ari at Baking and Books
Cherry Clafoutis from Mark at No Special Effects
Homemade Fortune Cookies from Kristen at Dine and Dish

Happy New Year!

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    Jodie said...

    It looks great! I love that you baked in in the cast iron skillet! How fun!

    Anonymous said...

    What a gem of a yard sale. That cake is beautiful.

    CookiePie said...

    Beautiful cake - I love that you made it in a cast-iron pan!

    Susan @ SGCC said...

    The cake looks lovely! What a great idea to use the skillet for this! I have a 9-incher that I use for baking certain things and I love the way they turn out.

    Wish I could have done this one, but I'm laid up with a hurt ankle. :(

    Jules Someone said...

    Cute little pan. Our never made it to the freezer.

    chocolatechic said...

    I love your cast iron skillet.


    natalia said...

    Ciao ! I wish there were such a nice thing as garage sale around here ! Your gingerbread is great !

    Melissa said...

    What a great idea! It looks beautiful, as always!

    Welcome to our crazy blessed life said...

    Well, since people are reading all over the world I guess you are being watched from afar! Beautiful presentation! :)

    steph- whisk/spoon said...

    how cute! i love my cast iron skillet..so useful.

    Anonymous said...

    wow, where do you find chocolate dipped fortune cookies with multiple fortunes in them? i love reading the fortunes!
    and your cake looks ridiculously amazing, as usual!

    Anonymous said...

    What a great way to use your cast iron pan! You are so creative week in and week out!

    Unknown said...

    How clever. I heard buying second hand cast iron it the best way to go. I am going to try to find me one like yours. I grew up around big, heavy-duty black cast iron skillets. Did you have to use a cover? Amazing job!

    snicketmom said...

    That looks wonderful. I have a pan just like that but am new at using it. I never would have thought to put my gingerbread in it.

    Anonymous said...

    I love that you made the gingerbread in your cast iron pan. Your cake looks gorgeous.

    Anonymous said...

    This cake does look just great! Chocolate and ginger sound like an awesome combo, especially in a cookie or crust. We'd love to give it a try in this cake.

    Ben said...

    So, how badly did it stick?!

    Shari said...

    Jodie - I've never done that before, but it worked!

    Rainbowbrown - It was a steal. I can't remember how much I paid for it, but it wasn't much.

    CookiePie - Thanks!

    Sticky... - Hope your ankle heals fast!

    Jules - You've got some gingerbread and chocolate fans at your house!

    chocolatechic - Thanks!

    natalia - You should start a new trend!

    Melissa - Thanks!

    Karen - I guess my fortune came true! :)

    Steph - I have more ideas now than ever.

    dessertobsessed - I found them at Winners, of all places!

    Teanna - Thanks! You're so sweet!

    Gabe's Girl - No, I didn't use a cover. Buying second hand means it's been extra loved!

    Secret Server - Hope you give it a try!

    pinkstripes - Thanks!

    duodishes - Hope you do!

    Ben - Actually it didn't stick. I lined the pan beforehand with parchment paper. I guess I should have mentioned that somewhere in the post.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Anonymous said...

    This is a perfect cake for cast iron baking. Great idea.

    Anonymous said...

    Interesting way to bake this...I would never have thought to do something like that with the cast iron pan, etc. It looks lovely. Great post and photos, as always!

    PheMom said...

    That looks perfectly gorgeous I must say! Really beautiful. I love the little pan. I love baking my cast iron too.

    pam said...

    The chocolate and ginger sounds like a wonderful combination to me. The cast iron skillet is fabulous!

    Engineer Baker said...

    I love baking in cast iron, it just turns out so beautifully, and you don't even need a serving plate. Great idea!

    Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

    I LOVE how you tied your post in with fortunes and the New Year! I just LOVE that! You did a beautiful job on your cake and I love the little snowflake cookie! Too cute!

    Passionate Baker said...

    your cake looks marvelous!
    i liked this recipe too
    great job <3

    Unknown said...

    Wow, I never would have thought to make this in a cast iron skillet! Great idea!

    Anonymous said...

    Great idea to use a cast iron pan, I should use mine more often! The cake turned out really nice. I loved this recipe and the flavor and scent while baking was great.

    Megan said...

    4 fortunes in one cookie? It's going to be a banner year for you!

    The Food Librarian said...

    So wonderful! What a great find...I dream of finding that garage sale! Your cake looks fantastic - thanks for sharing your fortunes too. You'll have a great year!

    NKP said...

    I never would have thought to bake this in a cast iron pan - you are a goddess of creativity!

    pigpigscorner said...

    Look so pretty! I've never had choc with ginger before...interesting.

    taste memory said...

    how fun! would never have thought of *baking* n cast iron aside from corn bread....or would that be a johnnycake then? hmmmm either way ginger + chocolate sounds lovley!

    Anonymous said...

    it's so weird to get a fortune cookie with no fortune in it. that happened to me once. i need a cast iron skillet. your gingerbread looks great.

    Shelby said...

    Love how it looks in the skillet! Awesome. Good fortunes too! :-)

    Andrea said...

    I love the fortune cookie story! And I love your photo of the gingerbread. I made the same thing a few months ago, and it was delicious. But it was definitely not as pretty as yours!

    Danielle said...

    Great job, I love how you used a cast iron pan!

    Cathy said...

    I enjoyed this post, Shari! What a great idea to bake this is the cast iron pan -- I need to keep that in mind when I am looking for the right pan size. Your gingerbread looks great. I think that "interesting" sums up the chocolate/gingerbread combo nicely. Here's to much good fortune this year!

    Anonymous said...

    I always wondered if it was a bad sign if a cookie is empty. This looks like such an interesting cake (both cooking vessel and ingredients). I'm a bit fan of ginger and peppermint, but have never tried ginger and chocolate.

    Anonymous said...

    Lovely job on this one! Do try the swedish cake of Dorie's in the cast iron. It is DELISH!

    TeaLady said...

    Clever idea to use the skillet. I use mine for cornbread. Now I will try it with gingerbread. Looks yummy!

    We add 'in bed' too and they come completely different. People stare at us in the restaurant.....

    AmyRuth said...

    Ah Shari, Love your sweet little cast iron pan/skillet. All the love in that little vessel just bakes on. Reminds me of an old southern treat to eat. Love it.
    Your gingerbread looks great.

    Kimberly Johnson said...

    Cooking it in a cast iron skillet was a brilliant idea! I love my skillets.

    Family First said...

    I have been away for the chinese new year holidays and back to the normal routine today. Hope to catch up on your blog.

    Maris said...

    This looks really good - I'm keeping this for the next time I need to make a great dessert!