While reading M magazine the other day we discovered Shawn Kolo’s recipe for Stout Ginger Bread and thought we’d try making it with Sprecher Imperial Stout.  Kolo is Head Chef at Andrew’s Restaurant in the Delafield hotel, Delafield, WI.  Ginger bread is one of those great seasonal foods that evokes sensual memories of childhood, holidays, family  and warmth despite the cold.  We also enjoyed this recipe because it is easy to make and it isn’t overly prescriptive, e.g., it calls for stout.  Instead of any old stout, we used Sprecher Imperial Stout because this beer has so much character.  The recipe also calls for molasses, but not any particular type of molasses.   We opted for Dark molasses, which really brought out the licorice flavor and balanced well with the ginger and other spices.  Next week we’ll try Mild molasses and see how the tastes differ.   The dark molasses created a ginger bread that paired very, very well with Sprecher Imperial Stout and Sprecher Generation Porter.  Here’s our take on Chef Kolo’s Stout Ginger Bread:

Ingredients:

1 cp Sprecher Imperial Stout

1 cp Dark Molasses

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

2 cps All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

2 Tbs ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinammon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3 large eggs

1 cp Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 cp Granulated Sugar

3/4 cp Vegetable Oil

* A note about spices — use the freshest spices available; freshness really does make a difference.   Spices from the grocery store work fine, but if you have a local spice purveyor that will provide small amounts try going there.  That way, you won’t have to purchase more than you need and you won’t have excess spice aging in your kitchen.  (Here in Milwaukee we have the Spice House on Old World Third St., Outpost, and Penzy’s Spices).

Cooking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a 10″ cake pan and dust with flour,  knocking out excess flour.

2. Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat.  Whisk in baking soda and then cool to room temperature.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.  Whisk together eggs and sugars.  Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture.  Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Pour batter into cake pan.  Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 40 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a rack and cool completely.  Serve w/ ice cream or fresh whipped cream and Sprecher Imperial Stout or Sprecher Generation Porter.