Sunday, August 24, 2014

Christmas Ginger Cake with Maple Icing and Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze

I love the flavor of Ginger at Christmas. It's one of the few times that I eat it. I like traditional Christmas Gingerbread during the holidays. I have a recipe for a French Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze, made in a loaf pan. I'll repost the recipe at the end of this one. I'll make German Lebkuchen this year and I usually make Pfeffernusse cookies. There's something about the combination of flavors that make up these Christmas desserts that I find appealing.

Gingerbread Cake with Maple Icing:

Here's what you'll need:
1- 10" X 2" cake pan. Brush it well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour.) I start with 1 C of each mixed well in a jar and refrigerate it. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3 C Flour
2 TBS Ground Ginger
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 C Minced Crystallized Ginger + additional for garnish.
10 TBS Butter, room temperature
1 C Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 C light Molasses
1 C Boiling Water
3 tsp Grated Orange Peel

Maple Icing:
3 C Cold Heavy Cream
1/2 C Maple Syrup ( I always recommend the best that you can afford, the taste is worth it.)


In a medium mixing bowl, sift together:
Baking Soda
Whisk well.
Stir in Crystalized Ginger

In another bowl with a hand mixer:
Beat Butter until creamy smooth.
Brown Sugar  and beat until combined.
Add Eggs, 1 at a time.
Beat in Molasses and then Boiling Water.
Fold in Orange Peel by hand.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove pan to a rack for 10 minutes
Remove the cake from the pan.
At this stage I wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  This keeps it moist, makes it easier to cut, put together and frost. It's a tip that I learned when I decorated cakes.
I do this with all of my cakes.

In a large cold mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Heavy Cream
Maple Syrup
Beat until stiff peaks form.

Cut the cake horizontally into three layers.
Transfer the first layer, cut down onto a large serving platter and ice with some of the whipped cream.
Place the second layer on top and repeat.
Place the third layer on and ice the entire cake.
Sprinkle additional crystalized ginger on the top of the cake to garnish.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze:

Here's another one of my favorite French Recipes. This recipe comes from the Alsace Region of France.

1/2 C Honey
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C Rye Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Anise
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
4 TBS Whole Milk
2 TBS Candied Orange or Lemon Peel, diced

In a Saucepan:
Brown Sugar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved

Sift together, In the bowl of a Stand Mixer:
Both Flours
Baking Powder

In a small bowl, Whisk together:

Turn mixer on low and slowly add milk to the flour mixture.
Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add Honey and Brown Sugar.
Add Citrus Peel and mix on medium speed.

Butter and Flour a medium size Loaf Pan (I use my Pan Release Mix)

Pour Batter into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes.
Cool completely n the pan.
Release the cake onto a serving platter and drizzle with Orange Glaze.

Orange Glaze:
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/3 C Fresh Orange Juice
4 tsp Orange Zest
Whisk together until smooth

Peace in the Kitchen!

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