When I moved to the US in 2001, I didn’t know what to think of American food. I didn’t know much about it and I liked burgers and banana split but knew there had to be more to it than that.
When the holidays arrived I discovered two desserts that I knew right away I wanted to eat for the rest of my life: pumpkin pie and gingerbread. The day I learned to make them, I felt like the proudest of all Americans.
I’ll leave pumpkin pie for another time, as it deserves a whole post to itself. Gingerbread! Gingerbread, dear reader, took me by storm. Though I come from a land of fine spices I had never had a dessert so rich, so spiced, so aromatic or so moist. While it didn’t taste completely unfamiliar to me and immediately reminded me of its close cousin, pain d’épices, it was simply much better.
My interpretation of gingerbread is particularly rich, perhaps heavier on molasses than usual, which makes it dark and robust. It’s also very moist and perfect in muffin as well as in cake form. I love it with a good cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Gingerbread makes me happy.
My favorite way to eat gingerbread is warm, topped with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.
GINGERBREAD MUFFIN RECIPE
Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 10 MIN
Cook Time: 15 MIN
- ½ cup unsulphured dark molasses (preferably not blackstrap)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unrefined brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange or apple juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-muffin muffin pan with paper liners.
Step 2: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the molasses with the sour cream, butter, eggs, brown sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Step 3: Sift the dry the ingredients (the rest) into the wet ingredients and mix again until you obtain a homogeneous batter.
Step 4: Distribute the batter among the 12 cups. Bake until set, 15 to 18 minutes.