Dark Magic Gingerbread with Butterscotch Sauce

by Laura on October 28, 2010

My friend Sonja says that every time she makes this gingerbread the whole room swoons.  With that kind of recommendation, and a name so apropos for Halloween, and our Honey Girl flying home from college for a long weekend to celebrate with us to boot, I had to try it.  It’s from A Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant by Blake Spalding, Jennifer Castle, and Lavinia Spalding, and it does not disappoint.  Swoon we did—until we mustered the wherewithal to float to the kitchen for a second piece.  I think it’s so good because it’s moist with chunks of ripe pear and an extra generous measure of dark molasses, and Chimayo chile and crystallized ginger join the usual gingerbread spices for an extra kick.  The warm butterscotch sauce is a rich and boozysweet counterpoint.  Bake this for Halloween, and bake an extra to wait in the freezer for a night when you could use a little sweet, dark magic.  The sauce keeps for a month in the refrigerator, so it will be ready when you are, too.

Serving Suggestions

I usually favor plain whipped cream with gingerbread, but I think this one begs for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The gingerbread is delicious both cold and warm.  I’m looking forward to cold gingerbread with whipped cream laced with Scotch, and warm gingerbread with ice cream, and plain gingerbread at room temperature, perhaps with a cup of tea.   I made three cakes–one to test drive, one for Halloween night, and one for my book group.  Maybe I should have baked four!  To freeze the cake, allow it to cool completely, remove it gently from the pan, and wrap it tightly in cellophane and then in aluminum foil.  To reheat the sauce, warm it slowly in a double boiler or heat it in the microwave.

Music for Halloween baking:
Halloween Sounds This CD is 70 minutes of  screams, howls, chain rankling, and spooky sounds.

    Happy Halloween!

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