Next to hot chocolate, gingerbread says winter to me. While Olivia went ice skating on Saturday afternoon, I baked what she's been asking for.
I tweaked this recipe slightly, substituting whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose and omitting the lemon zest. If you'd like to read about the history of this recipe, take a look for this beautiful book. It will encourage you to take gingerbread beyond winter.
Eliza Leslie's Lafayette Gingerbread
adapted from Gingerbread
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup hot water
juice of 1 lemon
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 x 3 inch springform pan.
Whisk together the flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a medium bowl.
Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Pour in the molasses and beat until smooth. Drop in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated, stopping at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixing speed to medium-low and alternately incorporate the flour mixture and baking soda mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and stopping once or twice to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is dark brown in color, the top is cracked, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took closer to 1 hour). Set the gingerbread on a wire rack to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out to cool for about 10 minutes more.