Thursday, December 22, 2011
My Best Gingerbread
Because so many recipes over-promise and under-deliver (the Better Than Sex Cake, for one), it was with some trepidation that I set out to make the gingerbread on a recipe card titled "My Best Gingerbread."
But perhaps hyperbole wasn't as pervasive in the 1940s, when this housewife typed My Best Gingerbread on an index card. It was her best gingerbread, and now it's my best one too. My tasters agreed; they were still talking about it -- and looking for more -- days later.
Each gingerbread season I bake several, and I've rarely found one with this level of baking value (roughly the outcome v. the effort). The only modification I would make is to increase the amount of ginger if you like a more assertive spice kick.
This is a beautiful recipe, with clear instructions and very little guesswork. I baked it in an 8-inch square pan, which was fine, but a 9-inch round pan would probably yield a better looking gingerbread. It took just a few minutes to put together. At first the batter is stiff, but becomes very liquid-y once the hot water is added.
One of the joys of gingerbread is that it's a homey kind of cake, typically served without frosting, but I'm sure you won't hear any complaints if you make a lemon glaze (confectioner's sugar and fresh lemon juice) to drizzle on top. Or just slice and enjoy with a cold glass of milk.