Dec. 14, 2010 09:33 PM
20101215-livingind-0101

Wild horses couldn't keep me away from this brown sugar delight. by Mary Tutwiler

Gingerbread comes all kinds of ways here in Acadiana. There's the "heavy belly" stage planks from LeJeune's Bakery in Jeanerette that are best crumbled into a bowl, with a little milk, for breakfast. At Christmas time Poupart's makes highly decorated gingerbread houses that make great table centerpieces if you can keep little fingers from picking off the gum drop shingles and candy cane fences.

December 15, 2010

Wild horses couldn't keep me away from this brown sugar delight. by Mary Tutwiler

Gingerbread comes all kinds of ways here in Acadiana. There's the "heavy belly" stage planks from LeJeune's Bakery in Jeanerette that are best crumbled into a bowl, with a little milk, for breakfast. At Christmas time Poupart's makes highly decorated gingerbread houses that make great table centerpieces if you can keep little fingers from picking off the gum drop shingles and candy cane fences. But the best gingerbread is the homemade sticky kind, and while I've been experimenting with traditional English recipes for years, Gaylen Delcambre's Dark Sticky Gingerbread Cake is far and away the best I've ever eaten.

Delcambre is a gifted baker. She started selling her cookies at the Hub City Farmer's Market this year, and I have become a Saturday regular, always curious to see what she has invented each week. Her chocolate chip cookies, little crisp lightweight bites of pure butter and chocolate, are the epitome of what a great cookie should be. There's often sticky buns on her table, perfect for breakfast as you browse the market.

Coffee is actually what brought Delcambre to the market. When she's not teaching piano, she's roasting beans, imported from the great coffee growing regions of the world. Sold under her label, Supreme Beans Coffee Roaster, she offers freshly roasted coffee beans from all over the world, from the delicate Guatemalan El Injerto to the robust Sumatra Mandheling.
And her fragrant coffee is the correct accompaniment to her intense gingercake, unless you like to pair food with the perfect spirit. That would be a frothy pint of Guinness Stout. What? Beer and cake? Read on.

Gaylen Delcambre's Dark Sticky Gingerbread Cake
1 cup Guinness Extra Stout (or substitute 1 cup strong black coffee)
1 cup molasses (not backstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large eggs (fresh farmers market eggs are best)
1 cup packed dark brown Muscovado sugar (at Fresh Market)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup walnut oil or light olive oil
unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter quite generously a 12-cup bundt pan and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder, shaking out excess cocoa.
In a large saucepan, bring molasses and stout to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. This will foam up quite a bit, so make sure to use a large saucepan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and spices. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and the sugars until very smooth, then whisk in the oil and the molasses/stout mixture. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour batter into the bundt pan and bake on middle rack of oven for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean, with just a few crumbs.
Cool in pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To order a Gingerbread Cake, $25, call Delcambre at 349-9417.

 

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