Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread with Pear Caramel Ice Cream

As is our regular tradition, I had my in-laws over for dinner to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday. When developing the menu, I knew I wanted dessert to be the star of the show. I also didn't want to do a regular frosted cake. When visiting my mother-in-law one day she was discussing a dessert we were having and noted how much she liked ginger and particularly gingerbread. I immediately remembered seeing this gingerbread cake on the Smitten Kitchen's blog. I wanted to make the cake a bit more special since it was for a birthday, so I decided to make a homemade ice cream to pair with it. I found a recipe for pear caramel ice cream in The Perfect Scoop, and I knew it would be a perfect match. This dessert was definitely a show stopper and I loved that it was casual yet elegant at the same time. It also didn't take that much work to prepare, another bonus! The gingerbread cake has an amazing depth of flavor and was incredibly moist inside. This cake is so versatile, you could serve it with a ginger whipped cream, sauteed pears or apples, a homemade caramel sauce. The possibilities are endless. The ice cream definitely put this dessert over the top. The sweetness and flavors of the pears definitely played prominently in this dessert and the caramel lent slight undertones to the ice cream but was not overwhelming. I think this is my favorite flavor so far out of this book, although they have all been very good. I also think this dessert is the perfect pairing for my favorite chili recipe! Now, if I could only get a good snow day to match these two together!

Previous Recipes from the Smitten Kitchen:
Blueberry Pancakes

Previous Recipes from the Perfect Scoop:
Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: Unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. (I sprayed my pan very generously with cooking spray and had no problems with it sticking).

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream.

Do ahead: This gingerbread is better if made a day ahead. It will keep 3 days, covered, at room temperature. I am sure it will keep well-wrapped in the freezer even longer.

Source: The Smitten Kitchen

Pear Caramel Ice Cream
  • 3 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 3/4 c. + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspooon coarse salt
  • a few drops of fresh lemon juice
  1. Dice the pears into 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Spread the sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, carefully watching and stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula until melted.
  3. When the sugar is a deep amber, stir in the pears. The caramel will seize, that's ok. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally for ten minutes. The sugar will have dissolved.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cream, then mix in the rest of the cream, salt, and lemon juice.
  5. Cool to room temp, puree until smooth, press through a strainer.
  6. Chill according to your ice-cream maker manufacturer's instructions.
Source: The Perfect Scoop by Dave Lebovitz, Ten Speed Press, May 2007.


Joelen said...

That ice cream sounds fantastic! I love how you paired it with the gingerbread - yum!

Maria said...

I am in heaven! What a wonderful dessert!