Sometimes the simplest things remind you of what’s important in life: spending a gorgeous day in Napa with my best friend and her family, an unexpectedly delicious flavor combination (goat cheese, honey, and ham crêpe), finding something you’d been searching for (sumac for homemade za’atar), yelling YAHTZEE!, laughing and smiling so much that your cheeks ache, a leisurely breakfast on the porch, and being excited for these subsequent (but dwindling) days of spring vacation.
I am equally as excited when I finally make an obscure recipe that I’ve had saved for years.
You know, the kind where you save the recipe for the sole reason that it looks super interesting but may be something that you would never actually make? You know the kind, I know you do. I call it Recipe Collecting and it’s something I try not to do.
But this I’ve had saved under my ‘holiday dessert’ recipe tabs for quite some time and even though Christmas is nowhere in sight and winter is near its end, the time couldn’t have been more perfect for a gingerbread cake. A gingerbread cake with stout beer.
Chocolate stout gingerbread
recipe adapted from The Crepes of Wrath
recipe yield: 1 cake
Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a 9×9 square pan with spray oil.
In a small saucepan, bring to a bare simmer and remove from heat until ready to use:
2/3 cup Trader Joe’s Chocolate Stout
In a medium bowl, mix:
1 cup unbleached, AP flour
1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, beat together:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup canola oil
Scrape down the bowl to make sure it is all mixed well. Add a third of the flour mixture, then half the beer, then a third of the flour, then half the beer, and, finally, the last third of flour. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until set and the batter no longer jiggles when moved. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and a mug of chocolate stout, a stout float, or good old-fashioned milk.