Tuesdays with Dorie: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

If you are looking for a unique gingerbread recipe with adult flavors – look no further.  This complex taste offers notes of coffee, molasses, and cocoa with the snap of ginger.  Find the recipe at http://karenskitchenstories.blogspot.com/.  This is a recipe that begs to be tweaked!  With the Tuesday chatter ringing in my ears, I made some adjustments to the recipe.  Finding myself without espresso powder, I substituted cocoa powder as suggested by another baker.  This definitely made the cake less gingery and gave a stronger taste of cocoa.  The other advice I got from the chatter was to cut back on the molasses.  The recipe calls for 2 cups – I used one and it was more than enough.  I substituted 1/2 c. of maple syrup and a 1/2 cup of strong coffee (make sure you fold from the bottom of the bowl to incorporate the coffee evenly throughout the mixture.  I also fudged on the pepper – a teaspoon seemed like a bit much – I gave it a few grinds of the pepper mill and left it at that.

I baked it as a larger cake for a party this weekend.  I plan to serve it with some whipped cream to make it more kid-friendly.  I made a real baby cake to sample – my husband and I enjoyed the complexity of the flavors and the girls thought it was awesome.  I’m not sure that I got the right combination of flavors – ginger should be a bit stronger I think.  I probably could have done without the coffee altogether or at least dialed it back substantially.  Maybe a 1/4 c. of coffee and 3/4 c. of maple syrup…despite the brown sugar and the maple syrup the cake itself was not overtly sweet.

I liked this recipe well enough to play with the flavors a bit in the future to find the perfect gingerbread!