Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Black Sticky Gingerbread
Uncle Remus said, “You can’t run away from trouble. Ain’t no place that far.” Anna, from The Baker’s Man, would be the first person to agree with him. She’s tried to be a good girl, follow the rules, keep everyone around her happy, but she's in over her head with an aching heart.
In Chapter 10, titled Black Sticky Gingerbread, Anna is being hit with wave after wave of complications. There are many decisions to be made, and, unfortunately, none of them are simple.
Anna has always believed love was black and white—either it was wrong or it was right. But love is complicated, and Anna is realizing there are a lot of gray areas. Life is sticky and messy, and the answers aren’t easy to find or accept. She's in need of comfort, which can be found in the spice-filled scent of warm gingerbread fresh out of the oven. Anna, sit down and rest for a while. I understand how you feel. This one's for you. Go on, have a second piece.
Black Sticky Gingerbread Makes: 2 bread loaves; approx. 12 slices per loaf Difficulty Level: Easy Ingredients 1 c unsalted butter
½ c water ¾ c molasses ¾ c flavorful, real honey 1 cup tightly packed dark brown 3 c whole wheat flour 1 ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp allspice ¼ tsp ground cloves 3 large eggs, at room temperature ½ c milk 1 packed tbsp grated fresh ginger root Lightly sweetened whipped cream, to serve How to Make
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Move a rack to the center. Butter and line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan (or 2 loaf pans) with parchment paper. Allow the parchment to hang over by a couple inches. This will help you remove the cake from the pan later on.
Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Stir the mixture frequently until the butter is just melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves and set aside.
When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the milk and stir to combine.
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, and don’t be overly concerned if you can’t get every lump out.
Stir in the grated ginger.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for ~45-60 minutes. Start checking for doneness after approximately 45 minutes. When the top of the cake springs back when touched, you’re good.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then, using the overhang of parchment (if you’re using a rectangular pan), lift the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
If refrigerated, the texture becomes dense and sticky (in a good way). Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.
The Baker’s Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.
Chapter 1: Peanut Brittle
Chapter 2: Rum Cake Chapter 3: Morning Glory Muffins Chapter 4: Mudslide Cookies Chapter 5: Chocolate Caramel Bombe Chapter 6: Dark and Stormy Ganache Chapter 7: Blueberry Pie Chapter 8: Lady Fingers Chapter 9: Mirror Glaze