Chocolate Gingerbread – Ode to Nigella #6

*UPDATED EVEN BEFORE POSTED* omg – I just ate a piece of this warm from the oven un-iced. It is SUBLIME. Make it your signature Christmas dish for 2007. Take it to friends, give it to your Nana, it is heady and rich in spices, dense in its moistness that is so deeply satisfying you do actually feel all grown up and childlike all at the same time.
In her intro to this Nigella says, ‘This is very rich, very strong: not for children, but perfect for the rest of us’. I don’t know about the type of palate your child has or even if you have children, but mine will wolf this when they get home this afternoon.

Chocolate Gingerbread

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 125g muscovado sugar
  • 2tblsp caster sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 200g black treacle or molasses
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/4tsp bi-carb soda
  • 2tblsp warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 275g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa
  • 175g chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray thats 30x20x5cm
  2. In a decent sized saucepan melt the butter with the sugars, golden syrup, molasses and the spices
  3. Combine the bi-carb with the water, then combine with the eggs and milk
  4. Beat the milk mixture into the butter mixture
  5. Fold through the flour, cocoa and choc chips
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that’s what you want
  7. Let it cool in the tin

Ginger ale icing

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1tblsp cocoa
  • 60ml ginger ale
  1. In a heavy based saucepan heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale
  2. once the butter has melted whisk in the icing sugar
  3. Lift the gingerbread out of the baking tray and pour over the icing to cover the top
  4. Cut into 12 fat slabs.

How appropriate.

I don’t have any ginger ale in the house or any inclination to leave it (these sudden downpours keep occurring) so while her Chocolate Gingerbread recipe was in Feast, I’m going to use the lemon icing she put on the Fresh Gingerbread recipe in How to be a domestic goddess. Apart from the fact I love lemon icing on pretty much anything, I absolutely adore it on chocolate cake, so it seems like a perfectly acceptable swap. But after eating a piece, I may indeed go and buy a bottle of ginger ale, such is its power.

**UPDATE #2** Well, the boys each wolfed down their warm piece I’d taken with me in the car for them on after-school pick-up and I did a purposeful detour to get ginger ale. What remains of it is now iced. I’m wishing I’d gone with the lemon though, I think it a better counterpoint to the spice that the sweetness in the ginger ale icing, which just tastes like a chocolate glaze.

Nigella’s lemon icing

  • 1tblsp lemon juice
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1tblsp warm water
  1. Whisk the lemon juice into the icing sugar then gradually add the water
  2. It has to be good and thick so go easy when adding the water as you might not need it all
  3. Spread over the gingerbread with a palette knife and leave to set before cutting.