Holiday Dessert: Spicy Gingerbread Cakes with Warm Brandy Sauce Recipe


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
2 Tablespoons superfine sugar for dusting the ramekins

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, finely ground
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (soft)
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 Tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses

Brandy Sauce:
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons cold water
3 Tablespoons Brandy

Confectioner's sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare Ramekins: Brush the bottom and sides of eight 5-ounce ramekins with very soft butter (do not use melted/liquid butter as it will drip down to the bottom and not adequately coat the sides). Dust with sugar and tap out the excess.

Cake batter: In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, espresso powder, cocoa, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

Place the butter (soft) and brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or substitute a hand-held mixer). Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The butter and sugar must be beaten until they are very light and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes with a hand-held mixer or 3-4 minutes with a standing mixer. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each thoroughly before adding the next. The mixture may look curdled, but that is OK—it will smooth out as you continue to mix the batter. Beat in the fresh ginger and molasses, mixing on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.

With a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. (Don't over mix or the cake will become tough).

Baking the Cakes: Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins, filling them about half full. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to the touch and the tops just begin to crack. Take care not to over bake the cake; they should remain moist in the center.

Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then run a thin knife around the edges of the pans to loosen, then unmold the cakes. Turn the cakes over and place right side up on the cooling rack to cool completely.

Brandy Sauce: Melt butter in a double boiler (or a metal bowl set over a saucepan). Add sugar to the melted butter and stir gently until dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the water until blended and slightly foamy. While whisking, add the egg mixture to the melted butter/sugar mixture. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture is heated through, foamy and slightly thicker. Remove from heat and whisk in the Brandy. Serve immediately.

Additional Tips

To serve: Pour about a 1/4 cup of the Brandy Sauce onto a dessert plate. Place a cake on top and garnish with a dusting of confectioner's sugar.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook®


Serves 12