Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Espresso Gingerbread Cake And The Latest From Downton

There is a witness?!!  Oh, no!  Mrs. Hughes' stomach wasn't the only one that sank at the news.  Yikes!  I am sure Bates has a wonderful reason for being in London at the untimely but well-deserved departure of Mr. Green but still.  Don't send him to prison again!!!


Okay, my moment of anxiety is over.

But wait!  Will the farmer's wife become upset with Lady Edith?  Something is brewing.

And Mary!!  What are you thinking?!!  Will Tony stick around?  (But seriously, who wouldn't kill for that stunning coat?!)


Oh, Tom!!  Will you risk it all for that cooky teacher?!  While it is great you maintain your independent thought, you are past that polarizing philosophy. You have grown!  You build bridges rather than driving people apart.  I hope you don't lose this maturity because of her.

Julian Fellowes... you have got serious game.

I needed a little caffeine to stay sharp for this week's episode so I made an Espresso Gingerbread Cake as my accompanying nosh.  I followed this recipe from Fine Cooking. Check it out.


1/2 cup dark unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon dark rum (or substitute with rum flavoring)
1 1/2 tablespoons brewed espresso

Place rack into middle of oven.  Preheat to 350F.  Butter and flour a 10 cup bundt pan.  In a small bowl, mix molasses and coffee together and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute).  Add sugar and continue beating another 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing until combined and stopping to scrape the bowl between each addition.

 With mixer on low, alternate adding flour and coffee mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour.

Scrape the bowl and mix one last time on medium, until batter is smooth. The fragrance of this batter is simply intoxicating!

Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread out the top until evenly dispersed.  Just lovely.

Bake about 40 minutes, or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.  My entire family crept around the kitchen during baking time due to the warm, holiday spice scent permeating the house.  This cake would be perfect at Christmas.

Set pan on rack to cool for 15 minutes.  Invert cake onto the rack and cool to just warm.

Prepare glaze by mixing ingredients well so there are no lumps.  Place cake onto a plate and drizzle the glaze, allowing the cake to cool to room temperature before serving.  (Note:  If you have children, you may wish to skip glazing the entire cake and glaze by the slice.  This is what I needed to do so there is no photo of a fully glazed cake.)

This is a delicious spice cake.  For those who may not enjoy gingerbread, the coffee and espresso do a nice job of mellowing the strong molasses flavor.  Serve it with a little dab of whipped cream and maybe a slice of fresh pear. 

Give this Espresso Gingerbread Cake a try for your Downton viewing next week.  But even if you don't, be certain to tune in to see if this lovely connection between Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes continues to flourish.  Wasn't his comment about his not liking being on different sides just perfect?  Swoon...


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