Thursday, October 23, 2008

SHF: Spicy Desserts

After many years of searching for the perfect gingerbread recipe, I finally found one, although technically it was the result of combining the best parts of two different recipes. I like my gingerbread spicy and dark. (I like my pumpkin pie spicy and dark, too, but that’s a different post.) This recipe fits the bill, and I’ve served it many times for fall and winter dinner parties.

As a result of a recent bread challenge, I had a small jar of homemade crystallized ginger and I used it all in this recipe. It certainly added a spicy punch because of the freshness.

As a special addition, I’ve included a recipe I used for a spicy pumpkin custard. I make this when I have leftover pumpkin and don’t want to waste it.

I’ve decided to enter both of these desserts in this month’s Sugar High Friday event, created by Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess, and hosted by Anita, of Dessert First. If you choose to make them, I hope you enjoy them.

Gingerbread with crystallized ginger

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup packed, dark brown sugar

½ cup dark molasses

1 large egg

½ cup pear nectar

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger

Powdered sugar

Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour either an 8x8x2-inch baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. Mix the first seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add molasses and egg and beat to blend. Beat in pear nectar, then the dry ingredients and chopped ginger. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the cake. Cut into serving pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature, with or without whipped cream.

Serves up to 16.

Spicy Pumpkin Custard

½ cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk (evaporated milk, regular milk, heavy cream, half&half, etc.)

1 egg

2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons butter

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch each of ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice

Heat oven to 350°F. Beat all ingredients together. Pour into two custard cups. Place in a pan of water 1-inch deep. Bake 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. (This may take longer than 45 minutes depending on the size of the custard cups.) Cool at least 20 minutes. Invert on dessert plates or serve from custard cup. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 2.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Love gingerbread and pumpkin pie and I'm sure I'd enjoy that spicy pumpkin custard. I haven't done any gingerbread this year. And I happen to still have a little bit of that fresh candied ginger left. Now I have a tough choice where to use it ;)

Megan said...

Oooh, I love love love spicy gingerbread - and pumpkin custard, well I'll be making that this weekend. Anna from Cookie Madness posted a gingerbread cake today that looks exceptional. I'll have a bake-off with the two!!