Monday, October 20, 2008

Dark Magic Gingerbread with Butterscotch Sauce

This is a favorite seasonal treat from the cookbook 'With a Measure of Grace: The Stories and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant.' Nearly one year ago to this very day, M. and I were vacationing in the very small town of Escalante, Utah. We ate every night at Hell's Backbone Grill, a small, delightful and utterly delicious restaurant. On the very last night we were there, after days of hiking, bird watching, and eating some amazing meals, we decided to order dessert. At the suggestion of the waitress we ordered Dark Magic Gingerbread with Butterscotch Sauce. We loved it and I have made it again and again in memory of a most wonderful day.

Dark Magic Gingerbread
3 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon Chimayo chile (I have left this out and it is equally delicious)
1 and 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups dark molasses
1 and 1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup diced pear
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a 9 by 13 baking pan.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and spices
3. In a large bowl, beat butter until it's creamy. Gradually add eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until batter is light in color and texture, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly beat in molasses.
4. Add flour mix and stir until just combined (don't over mix).
5. Stir in boiling water slowly, mixing well, then add diced pear & crystallized ginger.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake cake for about 40 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly pressed on top.

Butterscotch Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or scotch whiskey

1. Combine butter, water, and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed suacepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted.
2. Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved, completely smooth and no longer making gritty, scraping sounds.
3. Increase heat and boil without stirring until the mixture starts to brown around the edges. Start stirring and continue to stir while the sauce thickens and turns darker brown.
4. When it just barely begins to smoke, remove from heat and pour in cream (be careful because the cream can cause the sauce to sputter). Stir sauce until sauce is well mixed. If there are lumps, place over low heat and stir the lumps out.
5. Add salt and vanilla or scotch and stir well.

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