“Decadence with a smile”, those were Jason’s first words when he first tasted this Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. Following his example I also dug in and had to nod (or moan) my agreement. “It’s like something I’d actually buy!” I said, and coming from me that’s high praise indeed. Rich, coffee laced chocolate icing forms the perfect counterfoil to the sweeter chocolate gingerbread base. Studded with slivers of fresh (as well as crystallized) ginger and chocolate chips this gingerbread has no problem staying light, moist and vibrantly flavoured. It’s without a doubt the best gingerbread I’ve ever made, and the best gingerbread I’ve ever had! I probably should not have been surprised. This was after all a Dorie Greenspan recipe, and she’s been the Queen of the Baking Blogosphere since at least 2006. It wasn’t until I received my very own copy of Baking: From My Home to Yoursthat I really understood her talent, appreciated the awe, realized why she is most deservedly a James Beard award wining author.
Purchased as part of my involvement in “Tuesdays with Dorie” (an ongoing blog event/group), Baking: From My Home to Yours is a heavy glossy tome, that would be quite intimidating if the pictures themselves, and the text were not both so warm and inviting. This recipe signified an especially sweet culinary victory for me. Since I started this blog in 2006 I have faced many of my own culinary fears and insecurities head on. One of the largest ones that I had was my fear of baking. Years of bread-like cakes and flat burnt cookies had done this to me, however in 2007 I made a resolution to push past that fear and in the process I started to learn to master stand mixers, temperamental ovens, and bundt tins. Still, I always felt rather insecure and dwarfed by the elaborate concoctions I saw other bloggers prepare for events such as Tuesdays With Dorie and Daring Bakers. That’s why, as 2008 drew to a close, I decided it was time to take my culinary comfort zones to higher heights. Nervous and unsure I submitted applications to join both groups, and as the acceptance and welcone emails entered my inbox I felt quite lightheaded and anxious. Was I taking on more than I could undertake? It’s a thought I’ve had over and over again as I prepared my first entries for both events and I’m sure I’ll continue to have it in the future. But, for now at least, I feel somewhat relieved and semi-assured that I can do this and do it well