I had really good luck making the Mendenhall Sourdough Gingerbread recipe while we were all snowbound last week — the kids devoured it (including the two extra kids I inherited due to snow.) But while I loved using my sourdough starter for this, I wasn’t quite happy with the recipe.
Enter Smitten Kitchen’s Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread recipe, which promised to add the spicy, earthy notes I was looking for (it starts out by calling for Guinness, no less!) So I mashed the two recipes together, adding my own twists. I figured I could substitute Black Butte Porter for the Guinness called for – but also wanted to add both fresh ginger & crystallized ginger. Thought it could use some hints of citrus. And while I’m at it? Why not add some cocoa & mini chips to complement the porter. (Yes, I am and always will be a a muxer.
I wasn’t quite sure that this combination of flavors would work – but it does, oh yes it does!
Betsy’s Triple-Ginger Chocolate Gingerbread
1 cup Guinness Stout (I used Black Butte Porter)
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if not using sourdough starter; omit if your starter is high-powered already…)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons ground ginger (this can go up to a tablespoon, on second thought…)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup of crystallized ginger, minced fine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice blend (add in pinches of allspice, cardamon and some extra cinnamon if you don’t have this)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (can use part orange rind)
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup active sourdough starter (if you don’t have sourdough starter, up the flour to 2 cups & add in 1 extra teaspoon of baking powder.)
Optional: 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease two non-stick loaf pans (can also flour them, but I don’t much like the extra flour coating/look, ugh. Or maybe I just don’t have the flouring knack!)
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, add fresh grated ginger and lemon rind, then cool to room temperature. (Use a bigger pan than you think; the baking soda will cause this to foam waaaaay up!)
Sift together flour, baking powder, spices, and minced crystallized ginger in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips if using. Add in sourdough starter slowing, mixing carefully to maintain a bubbly batter. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Pour batter into loaf pans. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack and let cool completely.
You can serve this unadorned, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, or drizzled with a lemon glaze (I whipped one together with cream cheese & confectioner’s sugar to top the last loaf with for a gathering later today just a few minutes ago…)