Monday, February 16, 2009

Chocolate Gingerbread


This recipe needs little introduction. It is as delicious as it sounds. Chewy, rich and dense, yet lighter than a brownie, and with complex, intriguing notes of ginger and spice, and a zingy, zesty icing.

It comes to us via my beloved Nigella (and her fantastic book, Feast), who, in the words of my housemate, just "really gets chocolate, you know?".



175g unsalted butter
125g brown sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
200g golden syrup
200g golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons warm water
2 eggs
250ml milk
275g plain flour
40g cocoa
175g chocolate chips, or roughly chopped dark chocolate

250g icing sugar
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cocoa
60ml ginger ale


1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Prepare some form of baking vessel. Nigella recommends lining a roasting tin of approximately 30 x 20 x 5cm deep with baking parchment. I just used two smallish square silicon cake pans.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the brown and caster sugars, golden syrup, treacle, cloves, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Take off the heat.
3. In a cup combine the baking soda with the water. Beat this into the melted mixture along with the eggs and milk. At this point it should fizz up all excitedly!
4. Sift in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed, then stir in the chocolate chips/pieces.
5. Pour into your tin/tins and bake for about 40 minutes until risen and firm, and passing ye olde skewer test. Do not fear if it is still slightly moist at the base, this is exactly how you want it. Moist and delicious. Leave the cake to cool in its tin.
6. Once the cake is cool, make the icing. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter's melted, whisk in the icing sugar. Pour all over the top of the gingerbread, and cut into fat 'wodges' to use Nigella's term.

Most delicious (like all good things) served perched aside a hot cup of earl grey.

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