“Oh, the weather outside is frightful…”
And when it is, there is nothing I like better than to be curled up inside with something (or things!) delicious to eat! Which of course includes dessert and since it’s December that means… Gingerbread with Spiced Creme Anglaise.
It’s kind of an old fashioned dessert and one that people either love, or hate – not to the extent that people hate fruitcake mind you, but the “anti gingerbread” lobby is still pretty formidable. I suspect though, that those who don’t love it haven’t had a good version of it. Why? Simple. Because I have had some really bad versions of it. So bad that they almost put me off the dessert altogether. But when you think about it, what is there not to like about a moist cake flavored with the warming spices of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon hmm?? Especially if it’s topped with a spiked creme anglaise.?? To me, this is the flavor of the holidays all wrapped into a bite – and why, despite having had some truly dreadful versions I am stilla huge fan of this dessert.
This is perfect for a casual get together , a weeknight meal or with a cup of afternoon tea- and to me there is nothing better than this for dessert after a day skiing or tromping around in the wet and cold. This gingerbread goes together very quickly and doesn’t require lots of ingredients so you can whip up a batch pretty much on the spur of the moment – which may, or may not be a good thing since you may find yourself doing what I did -happily nibbling small chunks dipped in the creme anglaise! But that will remain our little secret, right? Good.
Gingerbread with Spiked Creme Anglaise
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Spiked Creme Anglaise
- 2 eggs separated
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 Tbsp. Winter Spike
- 2 tbsp. mulling spices
- 1 cup whiskey
- 1 cup rum
- 1 cup brandy
- For the Gingerbread:
- Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8x8x2 inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray, set aside. Combine the flour, spices, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the molasses, sugar, butter, buttermilk and egg together. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until blended. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake the cake until a tester inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake completely. To serve, dust with powdered sugar and a drizzle of the creme anglaise.
- Creme Anglaise: In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Set aside. Fill a large bowl with cold water. In a small saucepan, heat the half and half until it simmers. Whisk in the half and half into the egg mixture. Add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, over medium heat until mixture becomes thick (it should coat the back of a spoon) about 10 minutes. Do not boil! When cooked, place the bottom of the saucepan into the cold water and cool the creme anglaise. Stir in 1 - 2 Tbsp. winter spike. Drizzle over the gingerbread. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
- Winter Spike: Combine the whiskey, rum and brandy in a container with a lid (I used a canning jar) Stir in the mulling spices and let sit for a week. Strain out the mulling spices and use to "spike" creme anglaise!
- The "spike" can be made weeks in advance and stored in a cool, dark room.
- The creme anglaise can be made the day ahead - cover and refrigerate. Let come to room temperature before serving.