Gingerbread, the ubiquitous holiday treat that conjures memories of snowy days, roaring fires, warm spices, and above all that titular ingredient ginger. So, then why is the actual product of these perfect memories of winters past dull, lifeless, and with barely a detectable bite of ginger?
So, let’s discover the gingerbread cake that’s right for you. Dark, rich, and aggressively spiced, this cake sheds the timid reputation of other recipes with a double hit of ginger – both fresh and ground – to ensure no one can mistake this for anything but the eponymous dessert.
Then just to <insert foodies buzzwords here>, it gets sliced thin and layered high with crème fraîche whipped cream and persimmon curd to cut through all that spice right into your heart.
Here’s to your new winter gingerbread recipe.
What didn’t: The cake is well-spiced and can easily overpower the delicate flavor of the curd. Next time, I would consider three layers of curd instead of two or serve with some extra.
Know this: I use powdered sugar here because it contains cornstarch, which helps stabilize the whipped cream.
Gingerbread Layer Cake with Persimmon Curd and Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream
Gingerbread Stout Cake
- 1 cup 237 ml oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
- 1 cup 340 g dark molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups 285 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch ground cardamom
- 3 large large eggs
- 1 cup 200 g packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup 215 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3/4 cup 175 ml vegetable oil
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Fuyu Persimmon Curd
- 3/4 cup 500 g fuyu persimmon pulp, from about 3 very ripe persimmons
- 1/4 cup 60 ml lemon juice
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup 150 g sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 cup 227 g unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes
Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream
- 2 cups 475 ml heavy cream, very cold
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup 240 g crème fraîche
- Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
- While the water is heating, slice the permissions across the top. Using a spoon, scrape the flesh out of the persimmon like you're carving a pumpkin.
- Combine lemon juice, persimmon pulp, whole eggs, yolks, sugar, butter, and salt in a stainless steel bowl on top of double boiler. Whisk ingredients constantly for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180°f on a thermometer.
- Remove the bowl from the water and strain the curd into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid to remove the solids and refrigerate until cold. Curd can be stored for up to 5 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Generously butter a half sheet pan and dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Line with parchment and grease again.
- Bring the stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda and then cool to room temperature.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, fresh ginger, and sugars. Whisk in oil then the molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Pour batter into a sheet pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in the middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 15 minutes.
- Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.
Make the Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
- In a large bowl, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar on medium speed with a whisk or electric mixer until soft peaks. Beat in crème fraîche, about 30 seconds more.
- Cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise into two 9x13" rectangles. Cut each half again into four smaller rectangles, about 9x4". Discard (eat!) the leftover cake.
- Assemble the cake by alternating layers of cake with curd and whipped cream. Serve immediately dusted with confectioners sugar and more curd or store in the refrigerator for up to three days.