When you’re on vacation, time doesn’t really exist- at least, not in the way it does back home. Going away for most of November, I feel like Halloween happened… and then a long dream, a Hawaiian interlude, a nap in the middle of the day which leaves you disoriented… because then I came back and it was CHRISTMAS SEASON.
It was very Nightmare Before Christmas. Halloween and Christmas right next to each other in my mind. I’m not complaining at all. The fact that I skipped November and jumped right to buying a Christmas tree was a-okay with me!
Thus, the first week home, I got a little over-enthusiastic about Christmas prep. I bought a tree. I decorated the tree (much to Colin’s chagrin since it was “still technically November for a few more days”). I baked 150 shortbread cookies (stay tuned on the blog for those). I wrote itemized lists of what to get everyone for Christmas. I ordered 90% of them from Amazon.
I went from beaches and beers to gingerbread and pine. CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX.
Okay, there was still the occasional beer here. But no one is drinking Mango Saison while decorating a Christmas tree, at least not in my house. Nope, while it poured with rain outside, we sipped on a proper cold weather brew- porter. Or stout. I actually had to look up what differentiates a porter versus a stout– turns out… not much. So call this Stout Gingerbread, if you like.
Whatever you call this cake, you can certainly call it delicious. This moist, fluffy, lightly chewy cake is everything I love about gingerbread- lightly sweet, spiced, comforting- without the stale crunch of the ubiquitous ‘Gingerbread Cookie’ (and none of the tedious decorating! Which may be a pro or con, in your books).
Served as a dessert, I love adding a dollop of whiskey whipped cream on top or some very lightly sweetened (think a third of the sugar you usually add) non-boozy whipped cream. The trick is to whip the cream a little less than usual as well, so it’s less a stiff whirl and more of a ‘clotted cream’ style blob. Perfection.
If whipping cream is not your style, go full decadence and serve it warmed alongside a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Orrrr… just leave it in the middle of the kitchen with a knife resting on the plate and watch it slowly vanish over the course of a day, as everyone in your household pulls a Boursin Commercial and sneaks sliver after sliver after sliver… until there is but a sliver left.
|Porter Gingerbread Loaf|| || |
- 1 cup stout or porter beer
- 1 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out any excess.
- In a medium saucepan, combine molasses and stout. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Sprinkle baking soda over the top and whisk in. Set mixture aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and spices.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add oil and mix, then add beer mixture and mix. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and give it a couple good whacks on the side to remove any air bubbles or pockets. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning the cake out and letting it cool completely on a baking rack. Serve dusted with icing sugar (alongside a spoon of whiskey whipped cream- or regular, very lightly sweetened whipped cream- or vanilla ice cream if you're feeling extra decadent!)