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Prune Armagnac Gingerbread- Gourmet

unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup pitted prunes -- chopped

1/2 cup Armagnac or cognac

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root -- minced

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening -- room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar -- firmly packed

1 cup unsulfured molasses

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

4 large eggs -- lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup crystallized ginger -- chopped

sliced kumquats as a garnish creme fraiche or sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

In a skillet cook prunes, Armagnac or cognac, and gingerroot over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until almost all liquid is evaporated and remove skillet from heat.

Into a bowl sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream shortening. Add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add molasses in a stream, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture, coffee, eggs, and vanilla, beating until just combined. (Batter may separate at this point.) Reserve 1 T. crystallized ginger and stir remainder into batter with prune mixture.

Turn batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with reserves giner. Bake gingerbread in oven 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool on a rack 1 hour. (Gingerbread will fall slightly in center.) Gingerbread may be made 2 days ahead and kept covered at room temperature.

Garnish gingerbread with kumquats and serve warm or at room temperature with creme fraiche or sour cream.


Also see ...

Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
Honey Garlic Vinaigrette
Tartar Sauce
Tartar Sauce

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