In my Five Favorite Foods entry I picked chocolate and ginger as two foods I could not live without. So, imagine my happiness when I found a recipe for Gingerbread that had a chocolate swirl topping. It was in the book "Great Food Fast" which is from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. I thought about applying the chocolate technique to my own tried and true gingerbread recipe, but decided to give theirs a try. After tinkering with it only a little I think it's just right.
This is a comfort dessert at its best. The richness of the bittersweet chocolate is the right touch with the spicy gingerbread. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like, but it's perfect all by itself. It is richer and more decadent tasting than the typical gingerbread. But that is a good thing. It will keep you from eating the whole pan. After one piece, you will be satisfied. And luckily it is moist enough that it will keep well over a period of a few days, if well wrapped.
Gingerbread... with Chocolate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Butter an 8-inch square pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and all the spices.
3. Heat the water and the butter in a small saucepan over medium until the butter is melted. Stir it into the dry ingredients until smooth. Add the molasses and the egg, mix until combined.
4. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl until soft. Stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Pour half of the gingerbread batter into the pan, then drizzle with half of the chocolate. Pour the remaining batter in the pan and drizzle with the remaining chocolate. I drizzled it in rows and then ran a knife through it to give a marbled effect.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm with, or without, vanilla ice cream.
Makes 9 squares of gingerbread.