Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Cognac

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The kids still give me a hard time about my obsession with bundt pans. And I get that. But I don't see any one of them complain when something like this emerges from the oven. Seriously, this pan is so cute! It's a royal pain when stuff gets stuck in the crevices of the chimney, and it's a total heartbreak to see some parts of the roof totally missing, but that's with any pan, isn't it? But when it comes together as it should, believe you me, the result is exponentially more satisfying. Now if only I can use it for other occasions other than Christmas ...

I've made this recipe a few times, the most recent one being for a dinner we were invited to. Surely bringing dessert was de rigeur for me, and this gingerbread house ... I would say ... kinda, kinda stole the show. Now not many people are aware that there are pans shaped in this manner and I got asked quite a number of times how I shaped the house. So I made a chiseling motion :D :D :D. I think I just crossed the line to nasty when I was met with a few gaping stares.

Back to the cake now ... this recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour's Gingerbread Bundt Cake with my addition of mace, more of the spice mixture, and XO Cognac. Mace ... because I come from the Spice Islands and my grandma really likes to use it in her baking, and also because I have a fresh stash that my Mom brought over. More spice because ... it's fueling with flavour :) And the XO? Because this is a decadent dinner treat, and a wash of heady floral, cinnamon and clove notes of Remy Martin's XO is the only thing this gingerbread bundt cake needs to take it to the next level of awesomeness.

Gingerbread Spice

3 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp mace

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.
It will yield a bit more than 2-1/2 tbsp, of which 2 tbsp will be used for the cake, and the remaining 1-1/2 tsp for the glaze.

Gingerbread Cake

300 g (2-1/2 cups) all purpose flour
2 tbsp prepared gingerbread spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
170 g (3/4 cup or 12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
300 g (1-1/2 cups, when packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
120 ml (1/2 cup) molasses
180 ml (3/4 cup) water
2 tbsp XO Cognac (or brandy)
30 g (1/4 cup) icing sugar, to decorate 

1. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F.
2. Butter and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan.
3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, prepared gingerbread spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium high speed, beat the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed.
5. Reduce speed to medium low, then add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next.
6. Fold in the molasses on the lowest speed.
7. Alternate adding the flour, in 3 batches, and the water, in 2 batches. Begin and end with the flour.
8. Stir in the Cognac.
9. Pour into the prepared pan, spooning the batter into nooks and crannies. 
10. Halfway into the batter, tap the pan down on a towel-lined countertop to settle the batter so there are no air pockets.
11. Pour the rest of the batter in, smoothing the top.
12. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 - 55 minutes until the cake pulls from the sides and passes the skewer test.
13. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
14. When cooled, slowly brush the XO gingerbread syrup on the cake, letting it soak before adding more syrup on it.
15. When syrup has seeped in, sprinkle with icing sugar for that 'snowy' effect.

XO Gingerbread Syrup
150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
120 ml (1/2 cup) water
1-1/2 tsp prepared Gingerbread Spice
2 tbsp XO Cognac (or brandy) 

1. While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup by boiling the sugar, water, and gingerbread spice in a small saucepan.
2. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the syrup has thickened slightly.
3. Let cool before stirring in the Cognac.

You Might Also Like