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Dark and Sticky Gingerbread


This dark, spicy and ultramoist cake is never more delicious than it is during the holidays. Its warm flavors are perfect for a wintry day — and even better when paired with a frothy pint of Guinness.

Dark and Sticky Gingerbread

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) brewed espresso or very strong coffee

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup (11 oz./345 g.) molasses

3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml.) canola oil

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 cups (10 oz./315 g.) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 Tbs. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground white pepper

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Heaping 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) chopped crystallized ginger

Whipped cream for serving


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Put the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a bowl, whisk together the espresso, brown sugar, molasses, oil, eggs and fresh ginger. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Add the wet ingredients along with the crystallized ginger, and stir to combine. The batter will be quite loose.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the pan sides and slide the gingerbread onto a serving plate. Serve warm with heaps of whipped cream. Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) gingerbread.

Baker’s Note: Make the gingerbread into a dessert fit for company by serving slices topped with poached pears and cream whipped with a big pinch of ground ginger.

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Rhubarb Custard with Pistachio Crumble


A thick, rich vanilla custard sprinkled with nutty pistachio streusel blankets a hidden layer of tart, lightly poached rhubarb at the bottom of each of these delicious, gluten-free desserts, created by blogger Aran Goyoaga. Be sure to watch the delicate custards carefully as they bake so you don’t overcook them.

Rhubarb Custard with Pistachio Crumble

For the poached rhubarb:

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

4 stalks rhubarb (1 lb./500 g total weight), cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm.) pieces

For the pistachio crumble:

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) unsalted pistachios

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) brown rice flour

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) almond flour

4 1/2 tsp. tapioca flour

Pinch of kosher salt

For the custard:

1 vanilla bean

2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) whole milk

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

Grated zest of 1 orange

6 large eggs

1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) cornstarch

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F (160°C). Have ready 8-10 custard cups or ramekins, each at least 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml.) Arrange the cups in a baking dish.

To poach the rhubarb, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) water and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb, reduce the heat so that the sugar syrup is barely simmering, and gently cook the rhubarb until it is soft but still keeps its shape, about 3 minutes.

Drain the rhubarb, being careful not to mush it too much.

To make the crumble, finely chop the pistachios in a food processor. Add the butter, sugar, brown rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour and salt, and pulse a few times just until a crumble sandlike dough forms. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the custard, split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with the back of a paring knife. In a saucepan, combine the vanilla pod and seeds, the cream, the milk, half of the sugar, and the orange zest.

Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir. Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornstarch, and remaining sugar.

Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture, a little at a time, and whisk until combined. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher.

Divide the rhubarb between the custard cups. Pour the custard over the rhubarb. Sprinkle the reserved crumble over the top of each custard, dividing it evenly. Carefully pour very hot water into the baking dish to reach about halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake until the custards are set and the crumble is golden, 30-35 minutes. Remove from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before serving. Serves 8-10.

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Gingered Rhubarb Crisp


Fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy bite to this classic crisp with a crunchy oat topping. We like to serve this comforting dessert on a rainy spring evening topped with vanilla ice cream. As the ice cream melts onto the warm crisp, it offers a nice contrast in temperature and texture.

Gingered Rhubarb Crisp

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices

3 oranges

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

3-inch (7.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Place the rhubarb in 9-by-13-inch (23-by- 33-cm) baking dish. Finely grate the zest from one of the oranges and add it to the dish. Squeeze 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) juice from the remaining oranges and add it to the dish along with the granulated sugar. Toss the rhubarb mixture well, then spread it out evenly in the dish.

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the ginger, flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the rhubarb. Bake for 15 minutes.

Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the topping is browned and the juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Let cool, uncovered, on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the warm crisp into bowls, top with scoops of ice cream, and serve immediately. Serves 8.