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Chocolate Gingerbread with Bittersweet Glaze

  • 3 oz.s unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each baking soda and powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper and salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bittersweet Glaze, following
  • Poached Ginger Prunes, following

Yield: One 9-inch cake. In a double boiler, place the chocolate, molasses, oil and butter. Stir over a low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until foamy. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk-egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add the chocolate mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixture until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased 9\xb2 springform pan. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven until the top springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set the cake on a rack and remove the springform sides. Prepare the Bittersweet Glaze and pour over the warm cake, allowing the glaze to drip over the sides. Cool on a rack to set the glaze until serving time. Serve with Poached Ginger Prunes, if desired. Bittersweet Glaze 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 4-1/2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 1 tablespoon light corn oil In a double boiler, combine the butter, chocolate and corn syrup over low heat, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour the glaze over the centre of the gingerbread and use a metal spatula to coat the cake in a few strokes. Poached Ginger Prunes 12 oz large pitted prunes 1 cup water 1 tablespoon minced crystallized candied ginger 2 strips fresh lemon rind 2 cinnamon sticks 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 5-8 minutes, or until the prunes are soft. This can also be made in a microwave oven if desired. Remove and discard the rind and spices. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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