Gingerbread Bundt with Espresso Glaze

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desserts & sweets / In the Kitchen

I disagree that enjoying gingerbread is a cold weather affair. Case in point; this cake. Not only rich and delicious, it is a great way to use up that lingering bottle of guiness a month past St. Paddy’s day.

{this recipe comes from Gramercy Tavern…and developed by Claudia Fleming. I have made this recipe and the recipe in her book “The Last Course”. I prefer this one. I have made a couple very minor adjustments to the recipe, which I will announce so you may or may not choose to do the same}

Gingerbread Bundt
{Gramercy Tavern}

1 cup oatmeal or guiness stout
1 cup dark (not blackstrap) molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cardamom
generous pinch kosher salt {my addition–optional}
3 large eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbs Trablit coffee extract *or 1 Tbs espresso powder {my addition-optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Use shortening to grease pan (trust me on this…pan spray will not work, butter works better, but shortening works the best) and then dust with flour. Set aside.
Boil stout (or other beer if using) with molasses. Take off heat and then whisk in baking soda. The mixture will bubble up, so make sure your pan has plenty of room, so the mixture does not overflow. Allow to cool to room temperature. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt (if using), ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom {if using espresso powder, sift with flour. If using coffee extract, whisk in with eggs and sugar} Whisk together eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in oil and then molasses mixture. Add flour in single addition and whisk until it is just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan on rack for about 5 minutes, then turn onto rack, and allow to cool completely.

Espresso Buttermilk Glaze
{this is entirely my addition and is optional}
1 lb confectioner’s sugar
1 oz strong espresso
1 Tbs Trablit coffee extract or 1 Tbs espresso powder
buttermilk

Place the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl. Mix the trablit or espresso powder into the espresso. Pour the espresso bit by bit careful not to thin out the confectioner’s sugar too much. If the confectioner’s sugar is still too thick to pour, add buttermilk until you get a pouring consistency. NOTE: this uses such a small amount of buttermilk, if you don’t have it on hand, you can easily substitute cream, half and half or milk.
Generously pour over cooled cake and allow to harden.

*Trablit is a very strong and specific coffee extract. It cannot be substituted with clear extract or candy oil. If you can’t find it (or it is cost prohibitive) please use espresso powder.

Gum Wrapper Wreath

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diy / In Our Home

I‘m probably aging myself by admitting that a favorite past-time of mine,as a kid, was making gum wrapper chains. I just loved it. Sadly, sticks of gum are not easily found anymore. But colorful paper is and it works just as well.

for a tutorial on how to fold click here

I cut the heart shape from a box, and wrapped it in pink ribbon; then wrapped it again in gum wrapper chain, rather loosely, giving it a “bubbled” effect. This is not a quick craft–I folded about 5000 papers for this wreath
May I suggest getting the whole family involved?

Boxing Day Pate {chicken liver pate}

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appetizers / chicken & poultry / In the Kitchen / In the Larder / On the Ranch / our chickens

I‘ve celebrated boxing day a few times. In my first experience of “celebrating”, while living in the UK, I found myself going from store to store in my village; finding locked door and closed signs. Even with mail delivery two times a day, I didn’t get the memo that commerce ends when Christmas celebrations begin.

Boxing day is a lovely tradition and much more meaningful than half-off sales and crowded malls.

This simple pate rounds out a simple buffet. Or if you fancy yourself a bit more posh, a nice glass of champs, a cool jar of caviar, and this on a silver tray would have the Queen bowing to you.

Chicken Liver Pate

1/4 cup shallots–finely diced
1/2 cup salt pork –diced
2 large garlic cloves–smashed but kept whole
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb chicken livers–well trimmed
1 cup chicken broth
leaves from 1 sprig thyme
pinch black pepper
1 stick butter
3 generous tablespoons cognac

In a saute pan with non-sloping sides, heat the olive oil and toss in the garlic, the shallots and the salt pork. Cook on low until the shallots begin to soften. Wash and dry the livers. Toss them into the shallots and oil and let brown, but don’t cook all the way through. This will only take a few minutes. Toss in the thyme and black pepper, then pour in the chicken broth. Cover the pan and let cook until the liver is cooked through and everything else is softened. Remove from heat and immediately tip everything into a food processor. Add the butter in chunks and process until you have a nice thick paste. Pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the cognac and then pour into ramekins or gifting jars. For a nice presentation, you can top with clarified butter and a fresh sprig of thyme.