Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting Into The Season

Oh my, doesn't that look good? Gingerbread with Cider Sabayon, what's not to love. I was looking at several of my cookbooks on my bookshelf and started thumbing though the pages. One of the books I pulled out was Stars Desserts by Emily Luchetti. The binding is broken on the book and there are so many stains on the pages. I was given the book by a dear friend long ago when hubby and I lived in the bay area. It is even autographed by Emily. I have made many recipes from the cookbook and they have all turned out delicious. Her shortbread and Russian wedding cookies are always in my gift baskets at Christmas time. Since I was re-visiting her cookbook, I decided to pull out the whisk and make the gingerbread recipe. It turned out divine. I love the deep, complex flavor of the gingerbread. The sabayon was fantastic, but I thought my arm was going to fall off after all that whisking. Son #2 and I tagged teamed the whisking. Oh, but it was so worth it.

Gingerbread with Cider Sabayon (adapted from Stars Dessert by Emily Luchetti)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 recipe cider sabayon
A 9 x 13 inch pan

To make the gingerbread:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bring the water to a boil in a small pot and remove it from the heat. Stir in the molasses and the baking soda. Set the molasses mixture aside to cool to lukewarm.

Combine the butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, cream on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Continuing to mix, add the eggs.

Sift together the salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flour, and baking powder. Alternately fold the dry ingredients and the cooled molasses mixture into the butter and egg mixture on low speed. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake the gingerbread for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares and top with cider sabayon.

Cider Sabayon

8 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large stainless steel bowl. Whisk in the cider.

Fill a large bowl one quarter full of ice water and set aside. Place the first bowl over a pot of boiling water and whisk the egg mixture vigorously for about 5 minutes, until it is thick and tripled in volume. The sabayon should mound slightly when dropped from the whisk. Immediately put the bowl over the ice bath and whisk until cold(it is essential the sabayon be whisked over ice until it is completely cold).

Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the sabayon. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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