Here’s a recipe that I love. It’s for gingerbread, which is so warming and comforting when it’s chilly and gray outside. Serve it with tea or coffee, and a dollop of freshly whipped cream if you like, or just a simple powdered sugar heart, for Valentine’s Day — or any day!
The secret ingredient is dark, stout beer; don’t leave it out! Just as wine gives depth to sauces, the caramel-like flavor of dark beer adds the depth needed to make this cake really awesome!
3/4 cup dark, stout beer (such as Guinness or something fairly similar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar, slightly rounded
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra to dust pan
2 1/2 Tbsp dried ground ginger (yes, tablespoons!)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp finely ground pepper
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8″x12″ pan (or an 8″x8″ if you like).
In a medium saucepan, bring the stout beer to a boil, and simmer for several minutes to allow the alcohol to dissipate. Do be present in the room while the beer is on the heat, since it can (will!) rise and spill over the sides of the pan very quickly! Remove beer from the heat and stir in the baking soda. When the foaming subsides, stir in the molasses and sucanat/brown sugar, and stir till dissolved. It will likely still be quite foamy; that’s OK.
In a separate bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients.
Pour the beer mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the eggs and oil.
Then whisk the dry ingredients into the beer in three parts — after each addition, stirring vigorously until batter is totally smooth.
Pour the batter into your pan and tap against the counter a few times to dislodge any large air bubbles.
Bake on the center rack until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (slightly longer if you use an 8″x8″ pan).
Cool the cake, slice, decorate, and enjoy!