Gingerbread Redux (a final shoutout to 2010!)
I know, I know… we’ve moved on. It’s 2011, already. But I promised my mum I’d post this for her. And, since it’s my blog… I’m gonna!
This year, I’d volunteered to bring a dessert to my in-laws for Christmas Eve dinner. And, since I wanted to make something festive but wanted to make it a wee bit more, well… Weezie, I opted for this bit of fabulousness: Double Layer Gingerbread with Eggnog Filling. Yeah. I know. And you’re welcome.
But, despite how decadent it sounds, it’s really not as damaging as one would assume. Including the icing/filling, each hefty slice (we hacked this bad boy into 10; yes, there were seconds) still clocks in at less than 250 calories.
1 ½ cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
4 tbsp. regular butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda
½ cup buttermilk (made from Soy Milk!)
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Coat cake pan (in my case, I used the the cutest silicone xmas tree pan ever made so that I could make layers) with cooking spray. You could use a similar sized pan OR double the recipe to make two 9″ layers.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, baking soda and salt.
- Stir butter, brown sugar splenda, buttermilk, molasses, 1/4 cup water and egg together until smooth.
- Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture.
- Pour into pan.
- Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched, about 42 minutes (45 to 50 minutes if you’re using the standard 9″ pan)
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
PS – I did NOT go out and buy buttermilk to make this. Where’s the sense in buying a litre when you’re only using a half-cup of it for your recipe, right? Because let’s be honest – how often are you going to use buttermilk? If you’re me, you can likely count the number of times on one hand. So, what’s a girl to do? Make your own! But that’s madness, you’re thinking. Crazy wizard talk! Nope. Trust me. If I had magical powers, I’d already have a marathon, pulitzer and national best-seller under my belt. But I do have fat-free soy milk. And I have lemon juice. And, as a result of the two, I now have buttermilk.
Here’s how you make your own:
For each cup required: place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add in soy milk (or regular milk, if that’s what you have on hand) to equal 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes. Use as needed. Rice milk, incidentally, won’t work as well because of the lower protein content.
Since I was taking this particular tasty treat to my in-laws’ house to share and wasn’t going to be serving it warm from the oven, I wanted to add a seasonal flair that would counteract any potential drying out that might occur.
Enter Eggnog Frosting. Not only did I turn gingerbread into a Christmas tree-shaped layer cake, I frosted between the layers with a delightfully decadent-tasting filling of eggnoggy goodness. And, since there was only one piece left Christmas morning (and my sister-in-law quickly snagged that for breakfast), I think it’s fair for me to brag just a wee bit about this creation. Just a wee bit. OK, I’m done.
1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups powdered/confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 cup light eggnog
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter on medium speed until fluffy and light in colour.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until it is well incorporated.
- Add the remaining ingredients and beat until frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed (about 2 minutes)
- Frost away!
(You can store this in the fridge if you’re not planning to use it right away; just keep it covered and be sure to let it return to room temp. before using.)
This recipe actually made quite a bit more than I needed and, sadly, I wound up tossing about half of it (which, given my sweet tooth, was actually a wise decision.) Once you’ve assembled your layers with frosting in the middle, add a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar (like snow!) and you’ve got yourself a fantabulous, festive, Xmas treat!