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Chocolate Gingerbread Cake and 1 Year Blog Anniversary!

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since I started this blog.  I have had so much fun over the past year baking and cooking all kinds of new dishes and goodies for this blog.  I feel that my kitchen skills have improved so much and I feel confident making all kinds of new recipes.  I didn’t waste any time joining the Daring Bakers and Tuesdays with Dorie.  I never realized how wonderful and supportive the blogging community is.  It’s great to be connected with so many people who share the same love of baking and cooking that I do. I can’t wait to find out what the next year will bring!

Note:  I’m actually posting this a day early since I’m posting the TWD recipe tomorrow!

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In honor of one year, I made this Chocolate Gingerbread Cake.  I had to make something chocolate, since that’s my favorite kind of dessert, and I’ve come to really love gingerbread lately, so I thought this would be a great combination.  I really enjoyed the two flavors together.  They were nicely balanced to create the perfect cake for a celebration, especially for the holidays.  The buttercream was very thick, and dipping a knife into hot water as I was frosting it made it easier to spread.  If you need a dessert idea for Christmas dinner or a party, this would definitely be a great choice.

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Before I give the recipe, I wanted to go back and visit some of my favorite recipes that I’ve made in the past year:

December:
Chicken Stuffed Shells
Whole Roasted Chicken
Ina’s Outrageous Brownies

January:
Baked Louisiana Dirty Rice and Beans
Chicken Enchiladas
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Carrot Cake

February:
Penne with Pancetta, Spinach, and a Buttery Crumb Topping
Shrimp Etoufee
Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

March:
Snickery Squares
Lasagna
Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake

April:
Turtle Brownies
Tiramisu
Penne a la Betsy

May: (it was a slow month since I moved, graduated, and got married!)
Peanut Butter Torte

June:
Pizza Dough
Italian Bread
Danish Braid

July:
French Chocolate Brownies
Penne alla Vodka

August:
Croissants
Black Bottom Brownies
Peach Sorbet
Homemade Gnocchi

September:
Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake

October:
Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies
Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
Cheesy Beer Bread

November:
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Chicken Potpie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Bars
Triple Silken Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake:

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and softened, plus 2 tablespoons,

melted

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of ground cloves

¾ cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

1 ½ cups tightly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

¾ cup sour cream

Chocolate Ginger Buttercream

6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and softened

Garnish (optional): 8 to 10 pieces crystallized ginger

Make the chocolate gingerbread cake:

1.       Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Liberally coat two (I accidently read this as 3, but it still turned out fine) 9×1 ½-inch round cake pans with some of the melted 2 tablespoons butter.  Line the bottom of the pans with parchment or wax paper, then coat the paper with more melted butter.

2.       In a sifter, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Sift onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper.

3.       Place the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl.  Pour the warm water over the spices and whisk to incorporate.

4.       Place the remaining butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle.  Mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for 1 minute more.  Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.  Beat on medium-high for 1 minute, then scrape down again.  Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating on medium for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down once al the eggs have been incorporated.  Add the melted chocolate, and beat on medium for 15 seconds until thoroughly incorporated.  Turn the mixer on to low and gradually add the dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Scrape down again.  Add the sour cream and mix on low for 15 seconds, then beat on medium for 15 seconds until thoroughly incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter until thoroughly incorporated.

5.       Immediately divide the batter into the prepared pans, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.  Bake on the center rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and cool in the pans at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Cover 2 cake circles with plastic wrap and invert the cake layers onto the circles (the plastic wrap prevents the somewhat sticky cake layers from adhering to the circles).  Carefully peel the paper away from the bottom of each layer.  Refrigerate the cake layers, uncovered, for at least 1 hour before assembling.

Make the Chocolate Ginger Buttercream

6.       Place the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl.  Bring the heavy cream, granulated sugar, ginger, and cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir with a whisk until smooth.  (This is ganache).  Pour the ganache onto a baking sheet with sides, and refrigerate until slightly chilled but not firm, about 20 minutes.

7.       Place the butter in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle.  Mix on low for 1 minute, then beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.  Beat on medium-high for 1 minute, until very soft.  Scrape down again.  Add the chilled ganache, and beat on medium for 30 seconds.  Scrape down again, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more until thoroughly combined.  Transfer ½ cup of the buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Assemble the cake and serve:

8.       Remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.  Use an icing spatula to evenly spread 1 cup of buttercream over the top and to the edges of one of the inverted cake layers.  Place the second layer, baked side up, on the icing and gently press into place.  Spread the remaining buttercream smoothly onto the top and sides of the cake.  Pipe an evenly spaced ring of 8 to 10 buttercream stars (about ¾ inch high and 1 ½ inches wide) along the outside edge of the top of the cake.  If desired, place a piece of crystallized ginger on each star.  Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before slicing an d serving.

9.       Heat the blade of a serrated knife under hot running water and wipe dry before cutting into each slice.  Keep the slices at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Source: I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers


21 Responses

  1. Congratulations on one year! I love browsing through your favorites, and that chocolate gingerbread looks fantastic. It’s amazing how time flies, isn’t it?

  2. Happy (early) Blogiversary! … and many more!
    /Clara

  3. Congrats on one year! I just subscribed to your blog maybe a month or two ago, so I hadn’t seen a lot of your favorite recipes – there are a ton that I want to try! Thanks for listing them all out!

  4. Yum – this looks SO good! And happy blogiversary!

  5. I didn’t realize your blog was that new! Congratulations on your first year!

    There are tons of recipes on your list of favorites that look great.

  6. Congratulations on one whole year of delicious blogging! I can’t wait to see what you’ll do in your second year!

  7. Wow! looks great! And Happy Blogiversary! Your blog is always fun to read.

  8. Happy anniversary!

    Chocolate & gingerbread = a brilliant combination. This cake looks heavenly.

  9. Happy blogiversary! The cake looks great. Mmm.

  10. Happy blogiversary!

  11. Happy Blogiversary! Looking forward to many more food posts to come🙂

  12. Happy blogoversary -( is that a word?) Well, that cake look awesome – thanks for the recipe. I also like your trip down memory lane – it is amazing how much I have learned in the 8 months that I have had my own blog.

    Here’s to another delicious year!

  13. I loooooooove the idea of chocolate with gingerbread! This cake looks absolutely fantastic!

  14. congratulations — and that cake looks *amazing*!!!

  15. Happy Blogiversary! I had no idea that so many of us started blogging last December (mine is coming up right before Christmas). I love that you highlighted your favorite recipes–I’m bookmarking this so I can go check them out when I have more time. Oh, and that cake looks divine!

  16. Agh drool not only at the photos of that cake but also at the list of your favourite things from this year! I need to make croissants, snickery squares and ina’s outrageous brownies! Yum. I love how thick and dense that icing looks. Congratulations on 1 year of your blog! I look forward to seeing (and drooling over) what you make in the next year. =)

  17. […] recently realized just how much I love the combination of chocolate and gingerbread after making this cake, so I knew I would like these.  These cookies have a few extra steps to them, such as chilling the […]

  18. […] Dorie, but after seeing everyone’s posts, I knew I had to find the time.  After making the Chocolate Gingerbread Cake and the Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies, I have found that I really like the chocolate-gingerbread […]

  19. […] of spices paired with chocolate, such as with the Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread and the Chocolate Gingerbread Cake.  It’s not a common pairing, but it’s one that stands out when it is […]

  20. I’ve made this cake three times — for holidays, and for my kiddo’s 2nd birthday (with white chocolate and chocolate ginger cream frosting). it’s always a hit, and stays moist for several days.

    I do use three pans, though — it could be the size of my pans, or maybe the elevation where I live (?)…but I find that the layers come out perfectly if I use three.

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