Today is National Pfeffernusse Day. Pfeffernusse is a variant of German Lebkuchen, or gingerbread. Pferffernusse cookies differ from regular German gingerbread in that they are rolled into balls and then glazed with powdered sugar after baking.
During the holidays I love to make a moist Gingerbread. If you like, dust the gingerbread with confectioners’ sugar and present it on a platter. I like to serve it a whipped topping.
Old-fashioned gingerbread is the perfect treat to keep on hand during the holidays. There are many variations: from the darkest, densest cakes made with robust molasses and stout beer to the lightest, most delicate cakes flavored only with brown sugar and a hint of ground ginger.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup mild-flavored molasses, such as Grandma's Original (not Robust or Blackstrap)
2/3 cup boiling water
1 large egg
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized, if possible)
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-in square pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour, such as Baker's Joy. (Alternatively, grease the pan with butter and lightly coat with flour.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, and boiling water. When the mixture is luke warm, whisk in the egg.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined and there are no more lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the edges look dark and the middle feels firm to the touch. Set the pan on a rack to cool slightly.
Beat the cream until thickened. Slowly pour in the syrup and continue beating until the cream holds soft peaks. Cut the cake into squares; serve with the whipped cream.
This cake is best served warm out of the oven or reheated.