This is the gingerbread my mother has been making forever. We eat it every Christmas. Actually, we eat it throughout the fall and winter, because eating it just once a year would be silly. This Christmas, the entire Beaucoup Family will be reunited at Beaucoup Headquarters. It has been years since we’ve all been together to celebrate the season, and you can bet this cake will be just one of many holiday traditions to be revived later this month.
Other Beaucoup Family Christmas traditions include:
- the annual argument my sister, Haddy, and I have over who owns the red stocking and who owns the green
- the annual argument my sister and I have over who owns the purple mouse ornament and who owns the yellow
- the failure of guests to notice that there is something different at Beaucoup Headquarters, such as a new paint colour in the bathroom, a new ornament at the top of the Christmas tree, or the addition of orange rind to the carrot pineapple muffins
- the failure of Beaucoup Children to arrive early enough/stay long enough at planned events
- the Poop Progress Report – guests with “travel belly” are encouraged to track the progress of their digestive issues on a chart posted upon the refrigerator
- the hourly rearrangement of Rosie Beaucoup’s NOEL letter blocks to spell LEON
- the consumption of Burger King Whoppers just prior to mealtimes
- Rosie Beaucoup’s disappointment when she learns that her adult children have consumed Whoppers just prior to mealtime, and are not “hungry enough” for her prepared banquet
- the smuggling of food stuff into the basement – consisting entirely of snacks Bill Beaucoup is not supposed to eat, and facilitated entirely by the Beaucoup Children
- the forced enjoyment of breakfast prior to any gift opening on Christmas morning
- the forced enjoyment of some random fruit/raisin/current laden bread which everyone in Poland/Germany/Sweden will also be eating for breakfast on Christmas morning
- the huge ass mistake of choosing to eat toast and peanut butter for breakfast rather than one of the 814 muffins Rosie Beaucoup has lovingly prepared in the weeks prior to Christmas
- arguing over who’s turn it is to retrieve some of the 814 muffins from the freezer in the basement, and then opting for the toast that’s already on the kitchen counter
- the absence of dish towels in the Beaucoup Headquarters kitchen, and subsequent drying of hands on someone else’s pants/sweater
- the Beaucoup Children’s insufficient interest in PVR’d British mysteries
- What’s In your Mouth? - a game that my brother, Adopamop, and I invented (this game involves chewing something vigorously in your mouth and then showing it to Haddy)
- the cries of protest Haddy emits when getting in trouble for laughing at What’s In Your Mouth?
- someone barfing
Just thinking about this Christmas has me bouncin’ around like an elk on a trampoline.
Back to the gingerbread. This is a cake. Do not try to build a gingerbread house out of it. It is dark and spiced, with a molasses undertone. The spices do not overpower. It will leave your house smelling of ginger and Christmas. We’ve always baked it in a bundt pan, and I’d recommend you do the same. Watch your bake times – I’ve listed guidelines only, as the material/thickness/finish of your bundt pan may affect your bake rate. This old-fashioned cake is best served sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, then sliced and topped with lashings of whipped cream.
Served with a side of of friends and family? Even better.
. . .
recipe: a Beaucoup Family recipe, with adjustments to the notes
Yields one bundt pan.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Read through the entire recipe. Measure out all of your ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and floofy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula at least once during the creaming process. Beat in the egg until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in the molasses – low speed.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the boiling water. Set aside.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the water/baking soda, and mixing just until blended. Do not over mix. (Additions will be as follows: 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 water mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 water mixture, 1/3 flour mixture.)
Spoon evenly into bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. This is only a guideline, as the material/thickness/finish of your bundt pan may affect your bake times.
Cake is done when a cake tester/toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serving suggestion: sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and then top slices with whipped cream.