My new book is finally here! NEW TRAVELS WITH A BLUE VASE: A SKETCHBOOK OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND with watercolor sketches and recipes from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales is now ready. See travelswithabluevase.com for more information or to order.
I met Mary Ann at Amelia Island Book Fest last February. Her eye catching display caught my attention with Provence colors, homemade lavender cookies and clever book title.
Mary Ann writes a blog at http://sketchersinprovence.wordpress.com/
It is a charming blog Mary Ann started in 2013 with travel pictures from Provence, England and Scotland. She also includes some of her sketches of different areas visited. Mary Ann has a group of friends called The Sippers. They have all traveled together to France to sketch, eat and laugh.
Mary Ann is a teacher for Cafe Sketching classes in the Jacksonville area. They meet regularly in cafes and restaurants to sketch. The classes change every 4 week term.
In England and North America, we like to make our Gingerbread with either treacle or molasses instead of the original honey. The British favor treacle which has a much stronger taste and darker color than the milder tasting and lighter colored molasses that we like in America. Ground ginger is always present and, at least in America, ground cinnamon and often times ground cloves.
Guinness Gingerbread Stout Cake is flavorful and moist. It is really the perfect dessert for fall and winter. This recipe is also very adaptable. Although it contains lemon zest you could use the zest of one orange. Toasted nuts, minced fresh ginger, or even crystallized ginger could be added. For the brave at heart a little ground black or red pepper could be added for heat. Gingerbread Cake is very nice plain but it is absolutely delicious when frosted with a lemon glaze.
The most unusual thing about this recipe is that stout is substituted for the water or coffee used in most gingerbread recipes. I find it adds a lot of richness and underscores the spices. Since the cake is made with oil, it will stay moist for several days. Dress it up or simply enjoy it on its own, with coffee, tea, or leftover beer from the recipe :)
One word of caution-Do not be alarmed when baking soda is added to beer and molasses mixture. It foams up just like the science volcano projects we all once helped children make for school.
- 3/4 cup Guinness Stout or dark beer
- 3/4 cup mild flavored (light )molasses
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- dash of ground cloves and cardamon
- 1 tsp.apple pie spice
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- optional: adding 1 TB finely minced crystallized ginger
- 1-2 TB. lemon zest
- 3 TB. fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- In a saucepan whisk together stout and molasses. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x8 or 9 x 9 baking dish.
- Whisk together flour, spices and baking powder.
- In a large bowl whisk egg, sugars and oil to blend.
- Add in stout mixture and mix all ingredients together with a whisk.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool cake 10 minutes and pierce top of gingerbread liberally with a wooden skewer.
- Mix lemon zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar with a whisk.
- Pour glaze over gingerbread.