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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dark and Stormy Gingerbread

Dark and Stormy Gingerbread |
I was planning on making a good cocktail to represent Halloween again this year.  Instead of something literally creepy and fitting, I was going to go instead with an aptly named cocktail- a Dark and Stormy.  But after realizing that I didn't have any dark rum in the bar, and not wanting to go out and spend any money, I opted for the next best thing - a twist on the Dark and Stormy cocktail.  Dark and Stormy Gingerbread.  Of course?

I believe its name originally came from the look of the dark or black rum floating on top of the ginger beer; it looked like a storm cloud.  Without the dark rum, it's just not the same.  But when you put the flavors into a dessert, no one's the wiser.

Dark and Stormy Gingerbread |
So, I have to admit that it's a rare Halloween around here when it actually is dark and stormy, but in my mind, it conjures up the perfect setting for a Halloween party.  Plus, it's ridiculously tasty.  Even better on day two and three, so go ahead and make some early, and then spend the rest of the time concentrating on your costume.

Dark and Stormy Gingerbread
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes + 24 hours (overnight soaking)
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian soy-free nut-free ginger limes rum Halloween Thanksgiving Christmas cake

Ingredients (serves 10-12)
    for steeping:
    • 1/2 cup dates, chopped
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins
    • 1/2 cup dried plums, chopped
    • 8 fluid ounces (1 cup) ginger beer
    • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) dark or añejo rum
    dry ingredients:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    remaining batter ingredients:
    • 8 ounces (16 tablespoons/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons molasses
    • finely grated zest of 2 limes
    • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    for the glaze and garnish:
    • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice + more as needed
    • zest of a lime, cut into long, thin strands

    Place the dates, raisins, and prunes into a small-medium bowl. Pour the ginger beer and the rum over the fruit. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for 24 hours. After 24 hours, set a strainer over a small bowl, strain the liquid, and reserve BOTH the liquid and the fruit.

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a tube pan generously and set aside. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.

    Cream the butter, both sugars, molasses, and lime zest together until smooth and light, 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and grated ginger, and continue to beat for another 1-2 minutes.

    Add the dry mixture in three stages, alternating with the reserved fruit steeping liquid, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on high for 1 minute, until everything is well combined and fluffy.
    Add the candied ginger, coconut, and reserved fruit to the bowl, and fold it in using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

    Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth out the top. Slide into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a center portion of the cake comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Turn the gingerbread out of the pan, and place it back on the wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

    Stir together the powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth. Adjust consistency with more powdered sugar or lime juice until it is just spreadable.  Spread over the cooled cake, and immediately scatter with the thin strips of lime zest. 

    Store the cake, covered, at room temperature. Go ahead and make this in advance, it tastes even better the second or third day.

    -adapted from The Cooking Channel
    Dark and Stormy Gingerbread |