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Monday, January 17, 2011

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread with Cheesecake Pockets - Blue Monday



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our day began with an early rain so intense it sounded like hail bouncing off the metal roof. While it might not wake the dead, its tattoo brought the Silver Fox and I to the table at an early hour. We lit the fire and shared a pot of coffee as the house warmed to the new day. We lazed a bit and then readied for what we thought the day might bring. Our plans had no contingency for precipitation that would not stop. Oregon winter rains, while heavy, are rarely constant and cloud breaks make it possible for the swift of foot to get out for at least short periods of time. There were no cloud breaks today and the rains were heavy enough to maroon us on our hillside for the day. We read a bit and then both gravitated to the kitchen. Bob rolled up his sleeves and started on a soup he had been wanting to try, and I, by consensus, went to work on an old-fashioned gingerbread we have both come to treasure. Gingerbread regularly appeared on the tables of our childhood and, for both of us, it is a food that evokes memories of warmth and comfort and a world forever young. Strangely enough, the recipe I use these days has replaced the one that came from Bob's family kitchen. The interloper was developed by Lynne Rossetto Kasper for The Splendid Table and I must tell you that for a new-fashioned recipe it makes the best old-fashioned gingerbread I've ever tasted. It is moist and dark and barely sweet but brimming with old-world flavor. The depth of its flavor can be controlled by the type of molasses and brown sugar you use to make the cake. The cheese pockets in the gingerbread are something I don't normally include, but I used them today to add a bit of contrast for the photo. I honestly don't think they add much taste to the finished cake, but they don't harm it either. Gingerbread was loved by our European ancestors for what they believed were its medicinal values. They considered it to be a cure-all for a range of ailments and, in dried and crushed form, used it as baby food for colicky infants. Ginger is known to settle upset stomachs, so they may not have been too far off base. I serve it because we love its taste and knee-bending aroma. Only bread has more allure as it bakes. I like to serve this warm with lemon sauce or maple whipped cream. The cake is very easy to make and you can have it oven ready in about 15 minutes. I do hope you'll try this. Here's the recipe.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread with Cheesecake Pockets...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Lynne Rosetto Kasper

Ingredients:
Cheese Filling Mixture
1 egg
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gingerbread
2 cups less 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (measure by spooning into cup and leveling)
1 generous teaspoon baking soda
Generous 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup very hot water (190 degrees)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg

Directions:
1) To make the cheese mixture: Beat cream cheese until light and smooth. Add egg, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until well-blended. Set aside.
2) Butter an 8-inch square pan. Fit bottom with parchment paper. Butter paper and flour pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3) Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4) In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, molasses, hot water and brown sugar. When the mixture is almost frothy, beat in egg and gradually add flour mixture. Stir just until blended.
5) Pour half of batter into pan. Drop spoonfuls of filling over batter and pour remaining batter over top of filling. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack in pan for a moist cake. For a drier consistency, cool 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and set on rack to cool. Yield: 9 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Caramel Apple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake - Cafe Johnsonia
Gingerbread Cream Cheese Muffins - All Day I Dream About Food
Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes - Chocolate Moosey
Deep Dark Spicy Gingerbread with Coffee Glaze - Luna Cafe
Chocolate Gingerbread Bars - The Parsley Thief
Gingerbread Cheesecake - Coffee and Tea
Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread - Smitten Kitchen

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

71 comments:

Ginny said...

This looks wonderful and your history is real interesting! Gingerbread for colicky babies! If you can bake and Bob can cook at the same time, I would love to see your kitchen! Phil and I always have to dance around each other if we are both in there at the same time!

Denise said...

What a delightful day you had! I love it when that kind of weather comes my way on a day we have nowhere to be. My 3 girls and I cuddle up for a cozy day at home. Living in Florida, we sometimes get these rainy days in June. Don't get me wrong, we get afternoon showers everyday in the summer, but in May or June sometimes we get ALL DAY RAIN.

This winter (and last) we've been blessed with some unusually cold days for South Florida. It's been nice to hunker down at home & relax. We homeschool...so it's nice not to have to drag everyone out on days that aren't weather appropriate.

Thanks for sharing this delicious gingerbread recipe. My grandparents always have gingersnap cookies on hand in their freezer. I can't wait to try this!

Denise @ Creative Kitchen

bj said...

This sounds and looks so good. I will keep this recipe and try it soon.
I wish you could send part of your rains to us out here in West Texas. We are sooo dry. No rain and not a flake of snow has fallen here.

My post is a little about comfort food, too.:)
xo bj

Jess @ Bakericious said...

I cannot resist chocolate and cheesecake, this looks and sound good!

Katerina said...

From the photo I can understand what you mean by saying moist. This is perfect to begin your day.

Chele said...

My Husband is going to love this one ;0)

Priya said...

Irresistible gingerbread, sooo yummy..

kitchen flavours said...

This looks really wonderful. Would be great to have a piece of this with a cup of hot tea. Thanks for the recipe. It's going to my 'to-try' list!

penny aka jeroxie said...

It looks like a gorgeous cake.And simple to bake like you said.

Rita said...

What a great combination of ingredients;I am just imagining that gingerbred with cheesecake floating around my tastebuds;lovely.

From the Kitchen said...

Gingerbread with lemon sauce was my mother's favorite dessert. She, too, extolled it's medicinal qualities. Of course, she didn't have to force it on us as we loved it as well. I can see how it would add delicious comfort to such a rainy day.

Best,
Bonnie

bellini valli said...

A touch of cream cheese takes this into the "spectacular" category Mary.

Custom Comforts said...

Nothing better than food and a fire to cure all that ails on a rainy day.
Your blog is lovely and your pictures are exceptionally nice.
Cindy

eileeninmd said...

Sorry, about all the rain. I hope it has stopped now. Your house must have smelled delicious. The gingerbread with cheesecake sounds so yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Cathy said...

Gingerbread with lemon sauce is one of my favorite desserts, partly because it reminds me so much of my mother. I think I will like the addition of cream cheese to this recipe. Beautiful photo, Mary.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

"Cheesecake pockets"...that sounds amazing!

Jenn said...

You cannot go wrong with cheese pockets...in just about anything!! This sounds wonderfully good! I have a feeling I could eat the whole pan!!

MissCakeBaker said...

This looks too good!

The Food Hound said...

ANYTHING having to do with gingerbread is amazing!!

Susan said...

Once again, Mary, over the top! Can smell it way down here!! When we dare to eat something sweet again, will try this, definitely. Susan

Barbara said...

Lovely idea, Mary. I am fond of gingerbread and have a super recipe. Think next time I make it, I'll add your cheesecake pocket!

Keeley said...

Your rain day sounds like the snow day my husband and I enjoyed last Wednesday!

I love gingerbread. I used to bake it with my grandmom when I was in elementary school (she taught me how to bake). I have some molasses in my pantry, so I'm bookmarking this recipe.

SmilingSally said...

My mom used to make a lemon sauce to go with her gingerbread. Yum. Thanks for the memories.

Happy Blue Monday, Mary.

Nina Timm said...

First time here for 2011 and I am still not dissapointed. I ginger in my cheesecakes, always add it to the crust. Now you do a different version and it looks so appealing!!

andrea said...

hmm I will copy it and and and

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

If these taste as god as they look... Mmmmmmmmm Diane

Meals by Misty said...

I absolutely love gingerbread! I'm not sure if I enjoy the taste or the smell of it more. Reminds me of my grandmother, Mimi :) And the idea of mixing in cheesecake with an already incredible delight...smile :)

EliFla said...

:D .... hugs, Flavia

Design Wine and Dine said...

This is beautiful! I love the cheesecake pockets - they really do add to the presentation! I wish I could have smelled this baking!

lena said...

as i was reading this post, i can almost visualise what a lovely morning you had even though it rains, i'm sure both of you enjoy and cherish all these special moments of being together. Have a nice day!

gengen said...

Every time i come here i am feeling hungry. Happy blue Monday. Yummy food...

A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

These look fabulous! I bet it would be great with a bit of cream cheese frosting too, since the cheesecake pocket didn't add a lot. By the way, I looooove your plate. It reminds me of this blue toile china I had for my childhood dollhouse!

- Maggie

Marguerite said...

What a wonderful combination! I love gingerbread and with a cheesecake filling and lemon sauce, it would have to be fabulous! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

Claudia said...

I may have to do this - to ward off January's chill. It's snowing and I won't go anywhere until it stops so why not fill then home with scrumptious aroma and a warm dessert. I love Lynne Rossetto Kasper's recipes.

highplainsdrifters said...

I've always found cheesecake to be too rich, too overwhelming. But I'm loving this idea. Cheers!

Vagabonde said...

You have so many great looking recipes that it is hard to chose. My husband loves Brussels sprouts so I’ll try roasting them as your show. I was also pleased to see your recipe for crème fraiche as I did not know that it could be reproduced this way. That gingerbread with the cheesecake filling looks super yummy. I’d love to visit your kitchen!

Joanne said...

Gingerbread definitely tastes warm and comforting to me, so I can totally see the appeal of cuddling up with this on a cold rainy day!

Jennifurla said...

How scrumptious, I love the top of it! Great baking, sounds like a nice day despite the rain.

Faith said...

This looks so tasty, and I can just imagine the lovely scents perfuming the house as it bakes up! The cheesecake pockets are an especially lovely addition, Mary!

PeggyR said...

Mmm sounds really good!

A Busy Nest said...

Yum. I usually smear cream cheese on my gingerbread anyway, so I am certain I would LOVE this! -Meredith

June said...

Gingerbread in the oven is like a warm hug. Love the stuff and can't wait to try this recipe with black pepper in it. YUM! Once again...thanks Mary!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Mary! This is really fabulous, and I could eat a whole pan. Thanks for this recipe. I love the fact that you are putting cheesecake in a pocket. NEAT!

We have rain today, too, but we need it bad.

Happy Blue Monday...

XP.

Sjeo;a "=_

Martha (MM) said...

This looks wonderful Mary!

The Blonde Duck said...

I used to go eat lunch at this cafe downtown with my dad that he called the soup and salad place. My favorite thing to get was the hot squares of gingerbread.

Donnie said...

That looks so delicious. I love gingerbread and then you throw in the cheescake part and wow.

Janice said...

Double hit of gorgeousness!

teresa said...

oh my goodness, i just have to try this recipe! i love gingerbread, and the look of those cheesecake pockets is just delish! great recipe!

Tiza said...

Looks simply wonderful! I love gingerbread and I love cheesecake, so it makes sense to put them together :)

Lynda said...

I've bookmarked this Mary; I've been looking for a good homemade gingerbread and I think this will fit the bill nicely.
How nice that bob can cook too!

Juliana said...

Mary, this gingerbread with cheesecake pocket sounds and looks delicious...love the idea of cheesecake in it...beautifully done :-)

Nina said...

Mary, thanks for your kind words about my blog...so happy to find yours--it is fantastic! This gingerbread is right up my alley....looks wonderful and your photos are beautiful! Cheers from Houston!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

This looks great! I love gingerbread! Yummy! :)

Carolyn™ said...

Looks and reads great, I love anything with ginger in. I think this would go well in a camp/dutch oven.

Jeannie said...

I love the look of this cake! Yummy cheese filling!

Anna A. said...

Mmmmm gingerbread and cream cheese. This cake looks spicy, rich and moist!

Lucie said...

This gingerbread on its own, even without the cream cheese pockets, sounds absolutely delightful!

Patricia Scarpin said...

What a tempting recipe! I love gingerbread - love spices, actually - and the cheesecake bits look delish!

simplysandi said...

This looks delicious. I've been craving gingerbread lately, and with cream cheese.. OMG

Shelley said...

What a lovely looking cake! And great writing- I love a good narrative to accompany a recipe. Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could discover yours!

Farida said...

Love Ginger and love bread, so I will to make it for my holiday.

Farida
http://foodfresh.blogspot.com

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Sometimes I wish we'd have just plain old rain here instead of all this snow that keeps piling up! But I always bake when I am stuck inside too! :-)

Miriam said...

I've never heard of gingerbread like this before, I love it already! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

SUNFLOWERS8 said...

E' un capolavoro questo dolce, non credo di avere le capacità per farlo me lo gusto con gli occhi, per ora ;) grazie!
Buona giornata
Sonia

My Little Space said...

Winter rain! Sounds pretty chilling early in the morning but it's a great start with that slice of cheesy gingerbread. The picture looks fantastic. I am loving it. Thanks again for sharing it.
Regards, Kristy

scrambledhenfruit said...

Gingerbread is a time tested treat, but I've never had it with cream cheese pockets. They do look yummy though! Love the Splendid Table. :)

Foodycat said...

I like old-fashioned gingerbread, but I just LOVE the idea of the cheesecake pockets!

spidercamp said...

Tried this this morning, exactly as directed, but found the cheese mixture to be extremely thin and runny. If anything, I skimped a bit on the lemon juice, so I'm not sure why this happened. The consistency was so very different from the cake batter (which was thick) that it was pretty miserable trying to get them to coexist - it was so thin that it ran away into the corners of the pan the minute I added it.

(It did bake fine, and the flavor is outstanding.)

Since your recipe says "drop spoonfuls of filling," I have to assume something went wrong with mine - any idea what?

Mary said...

Spidercamp, I just read your comment. I am a bit concerned. The cheesecake batter is always very thin but mine has never run to the edges of the layers. While I have never done this, it might help to use a smaller egg and make depressions in the gingerbread to hold the cheesecake batter. I can remember thinking the first time I made the cake that it wasn't going to work, but it did. The cake in the photo was made exactly as the recipe directs. I know that doesn't help much but it's the best I can do. Hugs and blessings...Mary

spidercamp said...

Thanks so much Mary, I bet that's exactly what happened. I forgot to mention I tripled the recipe, so by the time you factor in THREE times the amount of extra egg, my proportions must have been very different than yours!

When I posted that first comment, I had only baked a tiny test cake. When I did my 3 bigger cakes, I did just what you suggested, making depressions in the batter to hold the filling. It mostly worked, though a lot of the cheese mixture did seep back out to the edges. But no matter, the end product was really good - thanks for sharing this, and thanks for the reply!

martu said...

yes! It is delicious! Have a nice week, I love this recipe

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