I have a serious problem not buying anything with the word fall on it. Honestly, if Tampax had a fall variety pack I’d buy
enough to last me a year a pack or two. That’s how I found myself the proud owner of the Sam Adams Fall Variety Pack. I’m not an adventurous beer drinking, I pretty much only drink wheat beer. But the case said ‘fall’ and ‘pumpkin’ so I really had no choice and I brought it home. Knowing full well I won’t drink more than 4 bottles from the entire freaking case! Well done Sam Adams… My solution was to turn the undrinkable (to me) bottles into something I can enjoy. First up is my rendition of the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread recipe made fall appropriate with a few modifications and the addition of pumpkin (of course!) for a spicy, dense pumpkin gingerbread.I’ve made the original recipe a few times around Christmas and it’s so close to perfect. The only real problem is how sticky it is and how much it sticks in pan. You can avoid that by skipping the bundt pan and going for a loaf or generic cake pan. I love pumpkin flavor alone but it really shines with the addition of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Luckily those are all found in gingerbread so it seemed like a perfect match. I switched out the stout in the original recipe for a bottle of Black Lager. If like me, you know nothing about beer the Black Lager is a ‘schwarzbiers’ pronounces ‘schw-ba-blah-blah’ (or maybe not). It’s supposed to be dark and roasted with notes of caramel and chocolate. All things that I would enjoy in my gingerbread so in it goes!
This batter is sticky thanks to the molasses and you really need to butter the pan well. I set a stick of cold butter on the stove while the oven preheated and used the very soft melted butter to coat the pan. Use your hands and get into all the creases in the pan. Sprinkle the inside with flour and go back over any spots you missed with more butter and re-flour. Let it cool for about minutes and then gently pull the edges away from the pan. Flip the pan over and give it a quick bang on a wooden cutting board to dislodge the cake. If it doesn’t come out let it sit a while longer and try again.
This is the kind of cake that benefits from a rest before serving. Store it in the fridge and bring it out to warm up a but before serving. Dust with confectioners sugar and top with whipped cream for a real decadent autumn treat.
- 1 Bottle of Black Lager (or another dark, toasty beer)
- 1 C baking molasses
- ½ t baking soda
- 2 C flour
- 2 T ground ginger
- 2 t pumpkin pie spice
- 1½ t baking powder
- generous pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1 C white sugar
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- Pour beer into a small sauce pan, bring just barely to a simmer and cook down until you have about 1 cup left
- Stir in molasses until dissolved. Whisk in baking soda
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temp
- Preheat oven to 350
- Sift together flour, spices and baking powder (BE CAREFUL! DON'T INHALE GINGER DUST!!)
- In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, pumpkin, sugars and the cooled beer.
- Pour liquids into the flour and stir together
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Let cool slightly and remove from pan. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving