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Steamed Gingerbread Pudding - Christmas Rehearsal

Sunday, September 20, 2009
Steamed Gingerbread Pudding

How nice when Christmas used to arrive only in December, when you'd decorate your tree using leftover, mismatched adornments from the previous years, and when making The Christmas Crib was not politically incorrect. In those days it used to snow in buckets and it was no news, after all it was pretty normal for winter.

I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony…

Don't worry, I am not crazy nor have I taken some suspicious substances. Simply, I'm abreast of the times. A late September Sunday, I take a stroll around the city, and enjoy what may be the last sunny day of an Indian summer.
Instead, they want to convince me that Christmas is coming soon and that I, as usual, am behind. Seducing windows are suggesting festive messages and show stylized snow flakes, at Starbucks they started selling Gingerbread Lattes, the real gem of the entire Holidays, and all of sudden I want to sing Last Christmas and go robbing the mall to take advantage of sales, end-of-summer or pre-Christmas, whatever. From now until December 25th, it'll be a mawkish crescendo, a river full of molasses running before the flood, obstructed only by Halloween pumpkins and Thanksgiving turkeys.

This year I decided to let it carry me away, sometimes I too want to be up with fashion, what's wrong with that? So I stocked up on molasses, ginger and cinnamon and got down to work.

Go to buy a tree but not a true tree because otherwise it would die die die die die
(Elio e Le Storie Tese, Christmas with the Yours)

Steamed Gingerbread Pudding
for one 9x5 inch loaf pan or two smaller ones

all-purpose flour 110 gr.
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon
ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon
fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped 50 gr.
hot water 100 ml.
sugar 75 gr.
corn oil 75 ml
molasses 115 gr.
salt a pinch
egg 1

Sift flour with baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Put ginger in a food processor, cover it with the water and blend until smooth. Pour it into a bowl, add sugar, oil, molasses and salt and beat well. Add the mixture of flour and spices, stir again and then fold in the egg. Keep stirring until batter is smooth and well mixed. You'll get a very moist batter.
Pour it in the previously battered pans and bake at 325 for about 1 hour and 10 minutes (45 minutes for the smaller loaves), or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting it onto a rack. Let it cool completely before serving.

They call it Pudding Cake because it's very soft and moist, something in between a cake and a pudding. It's perfect for those who appreciate ginger and spicy, mildly hot flavors, otherwise it's better to foist it on people who annoy you.
The recipe comes from Tartine Bakery's book which I've already told you about here. I divided it in half, because we have three months full of molasses ahead of us, and it's not polite to get indigestion already at the beginning of the party.
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