Baking with Julia
So seasonal! How do we make them delicious?
Lemon curd, mixed with whipped cream. Yummmmm.
Can I just substitute instant coffee for the instant espresso powder? I have the coffee, and if it’s okay, I’d rather use it than buy a whole other jar of something I might not ever use again.
I imagine you would be able to substitute instant coffee, or even leave it out. These ginger cakes have quite a few non-ginger spices.
Supposing you buy a bottle, there are a few recipes that call for espresso powder. America’s Test Kitchen loves espresso powder for many recent chocolate recipes. Their Triple Layer Chocolate mousse and Better than Box Brownies both use it. In Baking With Julia, there is the Frozen espresso parfait.
i’ve been wanting to try those better than box brownies from cook’s
Instant coffee is a good substitute. But I have to tell you, I throw a half teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder into almost everything chocolate I make. It makes chocolate taste chocolatier :-) (I get mine from either King Arthur Flour or Williams & Sonoma).
The instant coffee won’t be as strong as the espresso. I make a delicious brownie with the espresso (see my post on the brownies we just made). I keep mine in the freezer so I always have it on hand when a recipe calls for it.
With a little more research, I’ve found that instant coffee can substitute, as long as a little extra is used (to make up for the lack of the concentrated flavor you’dget with espresso) and you grind it up some to make sure it’s powdery. I’m probably just going to go with that. Neither my local grocery store nor Target had the espresso powder, and I’ve already hit my grocery money limit for this week. I’ll just make do with what I’ve got. Thanks for the input, y’all!
I plan on using regular instant coffee, though perhaps more than the recipe calls for of espresso. No need to buy something just to use 1 or 2 Tbs of it.
Anyone experiment with different sizes for these? I don’t own baby cake pans. Muffins? Cupcakes? Mini muffin tins? Bundt? Not sure of baking times.
The recipe says you can make a 10-inch cake which bakes for 50-60 minutes. I may do the same. :)
Yeah, I saw that, but I kind of wanted to go in the other direction.
I’ll share with you my idea. I may use a bundt pan and decorate it to represent a wreath..
I am thinking to make half of the cake batter and bake in an 8-inch cake pan. Don’t have neither a 10-inch one nor baby cake pans. Wondering though if the height of the cake would not be in jeopardy :)
The recipe calls for unsulphured molasses. On the jar that I have at home it says unsulphured blackstrap molasses. A bit of a molasses confusion moment here but what should I use?
Blackstrap molasses is pretty intense. I wouldn’t use in place of “regular” molasses unless I really really liked the taste. Try some on a spoon? You might really enjoy it. I’m thinking that candied orange would be nice with that dark flavor.
I made a half recipe and baked it in an 8″ pan. It worked really well.
Thanks, Dancingwoolymasters! I am planning on using candied orange also – I made more that I needed for our Christmas fruit cake.
I am baking the baby cakes now and they have been in the oven for 30 minutes and are still soupy.
It took 30 minutes to bake them and I only had 1 and 1/2 cups of molasses, so I made up the balance with a 1/2 cup maple syrup. Tastes like an adult gingerbread.
Maple or something else sounds like a nice swap for some of the molasses. Without really realizing it, I bought Brer Rabbit “Full Flavor” molasses — two 12 oz bottles in order to get the required 2 cups. I’d much rather only buy one bottle.
Great comments. They will def. help me when I bake my little cakes this weekend:)
I made mine in 1 cup ramekins and a 6 inch cake pan. Filled 5 of the ramekins and 1 cake pan. The ramekins took about 30 minutes to bake and the cake pan closer to 35 minutes. They came out perfectly!
I halved the recipe and just baked the cake in an 8 inch aluminum cake pan. It took 37 min for the cake to bake – it is cooling as we speak :)
I tried making teeny-tiny baby cakes in a muffin pan. I got 14 out of a half batch, baked them for 20 minutes and… burned them :(
I guess I was only looking at the centers and waiting for them to firm up, completely ignoring the outer edges that were becoming overdone. I’m not sure if I just overcooked them by a few minutes, or if muffin pans were a bad idea… Did anyone else try?
What color are your muffin pans? I found the hard way that the darker ones attract more heat and the oven temperature and baking times need to be adjusted.
I tried 2 muffins with extra batter from my 9 inch pan and they cooked up quickly- under 20 minutes. But no burnt edges- used silver/ aluminum tins.
I just made meyer lemon curd with the lemons off of our tree. A dollop of the lemon curd on the baby cake is delish.
The lemon and the orange flavors sound wonderful! I baked mine in 5 little mini springform pans and one 6″ pan. They all turned out great. The taste is strong. Stronger than I like but okay for gingerbread lovers!
I agree the taste is strong and I didn’t never use the amount of molasses that the recipe called for. The molasses is somewhat over powering.
What did you use instead of molasses to make up for the amount of liquid needed, or did you just leave it out?
I used maple syrup for the balance of molasses. I used a 1/2 cup of maple syrup.
I used all of the molasses (not blackstrap) and they turned out fine. They took about 27 minutes. The hardest part for me was having the cakes bake evenly. I had to move them around on the rack a few times. Probably should have tried convection with so many little cakes. I read on Dorie’s blog that Johanne Killeen served them with coffee scented mascarpone and chocolate sauce.
Leave it to Ms al Forno! That’s a killer idea.
I’m going to halve the recipe and make it in a loaf pan. I hope it works!
I ended up with one loaf and 3 in silicone muffin cups. the loaf took FOREVER to bake. we tasted a mini one and its got quite the spicy kick at the end
I did large muffin pans @ 300 degrees for 35 min and regular muffin tins for 30 minutes. Worked perfect. These definitely aren’t lacking in the flavor dept.
Way to strong for me..I even halfed the recipe and cut the molasses down in half..it was so overpowering…Could not eat but 2 bites. It cooked up perfect in 26 min.
WOWZA! What lovely gingerbread! I replaced a half cup of molasses with strong brewed coffee and maple syrup. Was going to use ginger juice, but I’m full on into jam mode, and frankly couldn’t spare enough of the root. So, I just minced the normal amount. I twisted the finale. No Lemon or Orange here. Will post at midnight…on dancingwoolymasters.wordpress.com
All I can say is WOW, what a spicy lil cake!
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