Recipe: Deep, Dark, Spicy Gingerbread with Coffee Glaze
For the gingerbread:
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ c. packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 ½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ c. unsulfured light or dark molasses
1 c. boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda
[sidebar]For the coffee glaze:
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tbsp. double-strength brewed coffee
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 5 to 6 minutes if using a handheld mixer.) Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the grated ginger and eggs until blended. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and then beat on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogeneous.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. In another medium bowl, whisk together the molasses, boiling water, and baking soda. It will foam up! On the lowest speed, add about one-third of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Immediately pour in about half of the molasses mixture and continue to mix on the lowest speed until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well. Again on the lowest speed, add about half of the remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the molasses mixture and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, or until the batter is homogenous. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and enough of the coffee to make a smooth, thick, spreadable glaze.
While the cake is still warm, spread the glaze evenly over the top. Let the glaze set for at least 1 hour before serving.
The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes one 9-by-13 inch cake (serves 10 to 12).