as the weather starts to cool and my thoughts turn from summer dishes to something a little cozier, i thought it would be the perfect time to share one of my favorite recipes. sadly this dish is not my own, but it does come from one of the women i most admire- martha stewart. her recipe for chocolate-swirl gingerbread (which ran in martha’s everyday food magazine) is an all-time favorite of mine and i couldn’t resist sharing it here. the magazine kindly gave us permission to re-run the full recipe with instructions so i hope you’ll all enjoy this easy-to-make treat as much as i do. [the fabric used in my photos above and below is “bellows” in black by studio bon]
just a quick note: this recipe has a distinct molasses taste that i love (it’s a really nice change of pace from all of the cinnamon-based recipes we typically see this season), but if it skews a little molasses-heavy for you, you can definitely cut back on the molasses a bit. i suggest making it according to the instructions first, and if the taste doesn’t suit you, swap some of the molasses for more chocolate. i also suggest topping it with a heaping spoonful of homemade whipped cream. this dessert fresh out of the oven with whipped cream cannot be beat.
Chocolate Swirl Gingerbread
(from Martha Stewart’s Everyday FOOD)
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square pan. In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cloves. (Sifting these together rather than just dumping and mixing makes for a much smoother, airier cake.)
2. Melt the butter in the water in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg.
3. Pour half the batter into prepared pan. With a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top, and drizzle the remaining chocolate over the batter in a decorative pattern.
*Note: to help make the decorative chocolate pattern (which is made by making straight lines and then dragging a knife through them) I poured the slightly cooled chocolate into a plastic baggy and cut a small hole at the bottom. It makes for a neater line.
4. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
5. Top with ice cream or whipped cream for extra deliciousness. (I always mix heavy cream, vanilla extract and a little sugar to make it at home in the mixer)
*Quick note: the little owl in all the pictures is from Life + Limb in Portland. It sits on the shelf above my sink while I cook and I couldn’t leave it out. It’s always there for me when I’m doing dishes and would rather be playing Rock Band.