This is officially my first entry into Sugar High Friday! Ruth from Once Upon A Feast is hosting for the month of May and this month’s theme is ginger. As a new convert who is singing the praises of ginger, I was particularly excited to rise to this challenge.
As a child I never liked ginger, my immature palate had not yet accommodated for its pungent aroma and spicy flavour. And then all of a sudden I get older and see the light, I am converted and for a period of time all I could make were recipes that included ginger. Luckily those days are over and my ginger neurosis is now being carefully managed. However, this single-minded application of ginger helped to increase my repertoire of ginger-related recipes so all I needed to do for this SHF was access my ginger-recipe storehouse and take my pick. What I decided to make was not necessarily my most impressive ginger recipe, if there were any to speak of, but my most favourite one- Sticky Gingerbread.
As mentioned, this gingerbread has to be my favourite hands down. Instead of using molasses to create the stickiness, a syrup using light beer, dark muscovado sugar and bicarbonate of soda is made instead. Using muscovado sugar really gives the gingerbread a depth of sweetness that you would not achieve using other sugars, even dark brown sugar. So really try to source this sugar as that it is definitely worthwhile. Nigella Lawson first introduced me to muscovado sugar with her Peanut Butter Squares recipe, and upon hearing that it was apparently "healthier" than conventional sugar I was sold. Most gourmet food stores and organic wholefoods stores in Sydney stock muscovado sugar, if it is not already available at conventional supermarkets.
I used the gingerbread recipe from Annie Bell’s Gorgeous Cakes, which also shows you how to make a rhubarb fool to fill the cake with. I am, as of now not a rhubarb enthusiast so I simply chose to fill the cake with some whipped cream which works just as well. Likewise, you can have the gingerbread all by itself as it is delicious either way. If you want to dress it up as I have, cut out any shape you like from cardboard or parchment paper and sift icing sugar through the template. Annie Bell also suggests adding some food colouring to the icing sugar if you want other coloured shapes.
The bread can become quite rich, expecially if paired with the cream or rhubarb fool, so I would suggest something light and soothing to drink it with. We happened to have some ginger tea in the pantry so it seemed quite appropriate to serve it with a drizzle of honey, but any herbal tea would also be nice.