Adapted from The Last Course by Claudia FlemingI added some rye flour to give the gingerbread a little bit of that hearty rye flavor, but you can use only all-purpose flour, if you wish. If you're avoiding alcohol, you could try it with ginger beer, root beer, or non-alcoholic beer, which don't have the background bitterness that Stout gives the cake, but should do fine. If you do try it with an alternative to the stout, let us know in the comments how it turns out.As mentioned this made plenty of batter, a little more than my loaf pan could hold. Since loaf pans vary (Claudia uses one that's 5-inches deep), only fill it 3/4s full. Additional batter can be baked in a small cake or loaf pan, or in a few indentations of a muffin tin.You can also bake it in a 10-cup (26cm) bundt pan. If you go that route, I'd avoid using one with too many small ridges and so forth; sticky batters like this tend to get stuck in those crevasses, and you may have issues getting it out. The baking time will be in the range of 50 minutes to 1 hour.
1 cup (250ml) stout, such as Guinness
1 cup (250ml) light molasses
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (70g) rye flour, or 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (total)
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum free
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (90g) packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup (180ml) neutral-flavored vegetable or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (peeled)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13cm) loaf pan with nonstick spray, or butter, then line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Spray or butter the parchment paper. (You can also bake it in a bundt pan. See headnote.)
2. Heat the molasses and stout in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda. Set aside to let the foam subside and allow the mixture to cool
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and rye flours (or all-purpose flour), the ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the granulated and brown sugar until there are no lumps, then whisk in the oil.
5. Whisk in the cooled molasses mixture into the eggs, then gradually whisk in the dry ingredients, stirring only in one direction. (To prevent lumps.) Stir in the fresh ginger.
6. Scrape the batter in the prepared pan, filling it three-quarter's full. (See headnote.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out relatively clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Serving: Let cake cool then release from pan. Slice into servings. (See serving suggestions in the post.)
Storage: The cake will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
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