Run, run as fast as you can.
You can't catch me,
I'm the Gingerbread Man!
I am a big fan of gingerbread, and I find that most people either like it or they don't. For me the distinct ingredient of gingerbread, is not the ginger but the molasses. Maybe that's why I like it so much. It takes me back to my childhood, and Grandma Smith's molasses cookies. Whenever we went to Grandma's house she would always have a big Tupperware container of cookies on top of her refrigerator. And sometimes inside the container would be her molasses cookies. Big, soft cookies with creamy vanilla icing spread on top. Yum. I still have my grandma's recipe, although I haven't made it in a long time. One of the ingredients that my grandma swore by is lard. Yes, that's right, lard. She always told me you couldn't substitute anything else for it. Well, needless to say, every time I've ever made her recipe, I've always substituted shortening for the lard and they still turned out great. Sorry Grandma.
Which brings me back to my gingerbread cupcakes, no lard in these, only butter.
For the cupcake, I wanted a gingerbread cake but also wanted it to be a little more mild than the typical gingerbread recipe. So I left out some of the molasses and added a couple tablespoons of cocoa which really helped to take out the sharpness. I'm very pleased how well all the flavors blended together.
Next, because you can never have too much chocolate, I spread on a layer of chocolate ganache which is a very nice compliment to gingerbread. On top of the ganache comes a ginger butter cream icing. I made my regular butter cream icing but instead of using white sugar, I used brown sugar and then added just a tad of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It is delicious and the combination of all three flavors, the gingerbread cake, chocolate ganache, and ginger butter cream, turned out very well.
Oh, and I must not forget the cute gingerbread boy cookie on top, surrounded by gingerbread boy candies.
And by the way, to L. and M. who I know are reading this, yes, you will get to sample one in the a.m.