It's so interesting to me that before Diana Kennedy became " The Queen of Mexican Cuisine" she wrote a cookbook with alot of wonderful non-Mexican recipes, called NOTHING FANCY. I was inspired by her amazing dense and moist gingerbread which included both ground and candied ginger. After making it for a few years as she had written it, I developed my own version of it, adding chopped prunes and candied orange, fresh ginger, brandy and coffee. I hope you'll try it! —LE BEC FIN
All Ingredients Room Temp.
1/2 cup chopped prunes
1/2 Tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup brandy
6 ouncs dark brown sugar, lightly packed
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces while whole wheat or spelt flour and AP flour
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1+ teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup warm whole milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 Tablespoons Espresso powder, Medaglio d'Oro
4 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped
3 ounces chopped candied orange peel
In This Recipe
Combine prunes, ginger and brandy in saucepan, bring to boil and turn down to simmer til mixture is almost dry. Keep aside for later.
In standing mixer with paddle, soften the butter for a few minutes. Add brown sugar and mix til fluffy, scraping up the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times. Add molasses slowly, ditto eggs.
Combine flours through cayenne and add dry to egg mixture, just til combined. Combine milk through coffee and add to eggs. Add candied ginger to eggs. Taste. Add more spices to taste. Add orange zest and prune mixture, just until all is mixed.
Spray baking pan, add parchment to bottom, and spray again. Fill with batter. 11" x 14" x 2" Deep; or 10 or 12" cake round at least 3" deep. Place on heated cookie sheet in 325 degree F oven. Bake ~ 30 minutes til a toothpick comes out clean and there is a slight crust around the edge, pulling away from the sides. (If you use a smaller pan, time could increase to 70 minutes.)
Let cool completely. Chill. Flavor improves over a few days.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.