The Mailbox: Chocolate gingerbread a holiday treat

Chocolate sauce and nuts is one possible topping for chocolate gingerbread.
Chocolate sauce and nuts is one possible topping for chocolate gingerbread. Getty Images

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Chocolate gingerbread

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Makes 16 squares or 32 slices

Bronda McCarter of Sacramento enjoyed a chocolate gingerbread last year at a Christmas potluck. She was hoping for a recipe.

This recipe comes from “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts” (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1980, $16.95, 428 pages). You can top it with powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce.

2½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate

½ pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup boiling water or hot prepared coffee

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup light molasses

4 eggs, graded large or extra-large

Optional: 1/3 cup finely chopped candied or preserved ginger

Adjust rack 1/3 up from the bottom of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a shallow 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Dust it with fine, dry breadcrumbs and invert it over paper to shake out excess crumbs. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

Place chocolate in top of a small double boiler over hot water on low heat. Cover until the chocolate is melted. Then remove the top of the double boiler and set aside, uncovered, to cool slightly.

Place the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add boiling water or hot coffee and mix until the butter is melted. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Mix in the molasses. Add eggs all at once and beat until well-mixed. Mix in the chocolate. On low speed, gradually add sifted dry ingredients and beat only until they are incorporated. Stir in optional ginger. Mixture will by thin.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until top springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.

Cool in pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Cover with cookie sheet or rack and invert. Remove the pan. Cover cake again with a cookie sheet or a rack and invert again leaving the cake right side up to cool. Cut into 16 large squares or 32 slices.