This wonderful cake is one to add to your holiday baking rotation. It brings the flavors of the season together in a delicious, cozy way. And I love how easy it is to throw together. In some of my last-minute entertaining moments I’ve had a mis-measure or omission here and there, and the cake still turned out great.
The recipe makes enough for a large 9 x 13 pan; or feel free to bake in a collection of smaller pans (it’s a great little holiday gift)—just be sure to adjust your baking time accordingly.
From Scharffen Berger’s, The Essence of Chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 ½ cups water
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces, semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the molasses and baking soda. Set aside to cool until lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the egg and mix until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the molasses mixture.
Pour about one-third of the batter into a medium bowl. Add the chocolate and stir to combine.
Pour the plain batter into the prepared pan. Evenly space about 6 heaping spoonfuls of the chocolate batter on top of the plain batter. Pull a skewer through the batter (I used a toothpick) to marble the chocolate and plain batters.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the gingerbread to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
Cut into squares and serve.