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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Christmas Eve Gingerbread

So, this one has a story. Growing up, my mum always served a very sweet, beautiful cake called pavlova on Christmas Eve. I love pavlova. When I got married, I made pavlova, until 4 years in he told me, "I'm not a huge pavlova fan. I mean, it's alright, but I'd rather have something else." Well, his something else was peppermint ice cream roll, which is what his mum made for Christmas dinner. And her mum. Don't get me wrong, ice cream roll is cake and ice cream rolled together and it's good. But it's also just cake and ice cream. And, unlike my husband, although I will eat ice cream any time of year, it's not the first treat I think of in the dead of winter. So here we were at a standstill. What to make?

Gingerbread. But not just gingerbread. Warm, moist, delicious gingerbread.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a loaf pan.

1 1/2 c. water
1 c. molasses
1 t. baking soda

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in molasses and baking soda. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, dry whisk:

2 1/2 c. flour
3 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
1 T. baking powder (I know. But it's accurate.)
1/2 t. salt

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine and beat on medium high until fluffy:

1/2 c. butter, room temp.
1 c. brown sugar

Add 1 large egg. Beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with molasses mixture. Mix well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes.

We've served ours with whipped cream or with custard cream if you want it really rich. When I'm eating leftovers, often I'll just eat it with a little cool milk poured over the top of it. I like mine warm, but you can serve it at room temperature too. It would also be good with vanilla. Really, it's pretty hard to screw it up when it comes to serving options.

(This is a slight variation on another recipe. Frankly, the small changes I've made improve the outcome more than "noticeably." But if you want the original, here you go.)

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