Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Looks like a bakery cake"

Yes, another bundt cake.  What can I say? They are easy to make, and always look pretty (unless the cake sticks to the pan and makes a mess, but we won't think about that).  This is another cake that I made for a party.  I had to work, so I sent the cake with the Hubster.  When I arrived at the party later, I got what might be one of the nicest compliments.  A friend said to me that when she first saw my cake on the table, she looked and it and decided she wasn't going to have any because "it looked like a bakery cake".  But, when she found out I made it from scratch, she had a piece, and said she loved it.

I liked this cake.  I generally prefer to make chocolate desserts, but this seemed festive and different, and for some reason this holiday season I want to make gingerbread things.  It wasn't hard.  The hardest part was actually finding ground cloves.  In the end, I couldn't find them ground, so I bought whole cloves and ground them in my spice grinder.

Espresso Gingerbread Cake

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup very strong brewed coffee or espresso, cooled to just warm
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons brewed espresso (or 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with baking spray.

Whisk the molasses and coffee together in a measuring cup. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

In the  bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolks, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients and coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Run a knife through the batter to eliminate air pockets (or you could gently tap the pan on the counter a few times). Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: add the confectioners' sugar to a small bowl (or a glass measuring cup, like i do). Gradually whisk in the espresso until you reach your desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cake (put something under the cooling rack to catch the drips!).  Let the glaze set before serving.

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