Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

January 27, 2009


I was excited about this recipe because I’ve never made a gingerbread cake and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten any either.  Gingerbread wasn’t around when I was growing up.  Well, I’m sure it was around – I’m not so old that I predate gingerbread – but it wasn’t around in our house.  Around Christmas, I’ve been known to enjoy a gingerbread latte from Starbucks and a cookie here and there, but that’s the extent of it.  But thanks to Heather of Sherry Trifle (check her blog for the recipe), I was about to expand my gingerbread horizons. As an added bonus, this recipe has lots of chocolate in it!

What I did: I cut the recipe in half, and I can’t tell you how many times I almost measured out the full amount of an ingredient. I can do the math, and I can even do the math in my head, but remembering to do the math is sometimes a challenge.  I didn’t want to scribble in the book, but I should have come up with a better system.  Anyway, I didn’t mess it up as far as I know.  I did actually buy fresh ginger, even though I normally use minced ginger in a jar for cooking.  As far as changes, I skipped the cloves because I didn’t have any and didn’t want to buy any and I skipped the stem ginger, which was optional anyway.  I also used Smart Balance 50/50 blend instead of the butter.  This is half butter and half Smart Balance in stick form, and it was my first time using it.  I baked this in a muffin pan and got 10 regular sized muffins.  The recipe says that a full batch makes 9 servings…1/9 of the full recipe would be a big hunk of cake!


How it went:  There was a little prep work to chop the chocolate and ginger and melt the rest of the chocolate, but it was an easy recipe to put together.  The only thing that didn’t go so well was that my melted chocolate cooled a lot before I used it and then cooled more when I added it to the batter, so it didn’t fully incorporate; it ended up looking like little flecks of chocolate in the batter.  Since they were tiny flecks that would probably melt and since I was also adding chopped chocolate, I didn’t think this would be a problem.  The recipe says to bake a 9×9 pan for 40 minutes; since I was using a muffin pan, I set the timer for 15 minutes, checked them, and then baked for another 5 minutes, for a total of 20 minutes baking time. I made the icing the next day and it worked out great; it was thin enough to spread nicely but not so thin that it dripped all over.


How it tasted:  Some of the other bakers recommended waiting until the next day to eat this.  When I saw their comments, I remembered that I liked the Buttery Jam Cookies better the next day because the ginger seemed to mellow out.  One of the muffins stuck a little bit and I nibbled on the part that was left in the pan and I thought holy ginger! And then I decided that waiting a day was a good idea. Fast forwarding to the next day…I think the ginger did mellow after a day.  I really liked the chocolate chunks and icing and the ginger added a nice zing. I do think that just powdered ginger would be enough; the fresh ginger made it just a bit to ginger-y for me.  My husband thought it was pretty good.  He said that the “technical execution” was excellent (am I suddenly an ice skater now?) and that he’d like this “without any ginger at all.”  OK, omitting all ginger would be a major modification to a gingerbread recipe!

Would I make this again?: Probably not, since my husband would apparently prefer chocolate chunk cupcakes. But if someone invited me over and said “hey, can you bring some gingerbread?” then sure, I’d make this again. It turned out really nice and I like that it has lots of chocolate. If you’re a ginger fanatic, you could go crazy with this recipe by adding the stem ginger in addition to the fresh and powdered gingers, and then you could top it with ginger-infused whipped cream as Dorie suggests. That, my friends, would be a lot of ginger!


  1. Hi Jill! I just figured out where to “comment”… Thanks for visiting Toby Tuesday!! These DO look very delicious. They would go great with the coffee I am sipping now! I love gingerbread and with chocolate on top…oooo la la!!

  2. Great idea to use the Smart Balance, I may have to consider that the next time I bake something. Glad your husband liked your technical execution on this! 🙂

  3. Haha whenever I halve things I’m like, this should be EASY! Why can’t I figure this out! haha! Your cupcake looks GREAT!

  4. I thought it tasted much better the next day, I was about ready to toss it. Better to waste then to the waist!

  5. Your gingerbread cupcakes are gorgeous. Too bad it wasn’t a super hit!

  6. I have the same problem with the math. I always always always have to write it out on a separate piece of paper otherwise I screw the whole thing up.

    I like the “technical execution” part, that’s quite funny.

  7. What cute little cupcakes! I think halving the recipe is a great idea, wish I had done that. When I make modifications like that, sometimes I scribble notes on a sticky and stick that in the cookbook for next time.

  8. I’m glad you got a good score on the technical execution of this recipe! LOL! Too funny. And now you have your Gingerbread recipe when someone needs it, too. Great job.

  9. Hate math, especially fractions–and I bake. Not the best combo. I’ve even been known to call my husband at work to ask him silly things like “is 5/8 more than 3/4?” Blah!
    GREAT looking cupcakes.

  10. I’d definitely give you a 10 for artistic impression, and another 10 for techical execution just for remembering to cut ALL of your ingredients in half (I have that same problem!) I agree that there was A LOT of ginger in these! My ideal amount of ginger is probably somewhere in between “no ginger” and “the amount of ginger that was in this recipe.” But I had other issues with the recipe, so I probably won’t make this one again anyway. Yours really does look great, and I enjoyed your post!

  11. I love that you made them into cupcakes. Great job 🙂

  12. I had to chuckle at your comment about pre-dating gingerbread. Also, when I scale a recipe I write it on a post-it note and stick it right over the book’s quantities. I am capable of leaving out anything from a recipe. I once left out the yeast from a yeast bread…

  13. Older than Gingerbread. I feel that way some times. Your cup cakes looks nice and chocolatey and moist. Great job.

  14. I have the same problems cutting recipes in half! It’s because I have a hard time paying attention to what I’m doing sometimes, I think that’s why anyway. When I’m feeling really organized I cut it in half ahead of time, right the new measurements on a sticky note, and place it on the recipe in the book. But I’ve only done that maybe once or twice. So, the rest of the time I just hope for the best!

  15. hehe how cute to do it in cupcake form 😀 I’m a ginger lover so there can never be too much of it in a recipe for me hehehe 😀

  16. I also think that using a cupcake pan was a great idea! Your husband sound very funny.

  17. the first picture of the cupcake…i want to reach into the screen and snatch that one and gobble it up. wow. looks deeelicious!

  18. LOL, whenever I halve recipes I’m always left wondering if I halved ALL of the ingredients too.

    Your muffins look terrific, I think I would have like the not-mixed-so-well chocolate in there.

  19. I’ve learned after a few “incidents” that when I halve a recipe I should write it out on another piece of paper and refer to that while making the recipe 🙂 Your cakes look great!

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