Our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group’s kitchens smell of spicy gingerbread for this week’s recipe. The recipe yields 8 cakes that are with a 4-inch diameter. I halved the recipe and baked a large gingerbread cake in an 8-inch pan.
I don’t want to go into the whole story of telling you who invented the gingerbread and how it is being made in different countries around the globe…Wikipedia, thank you!
I just want to say that this is one amazingly delicious festive cake! The combination of different soul warming spices paired with dark molasses is every ginger lover’s delight. Want to make this cake a bit naughty, how about some more spices? Want to make this cake nicer, how about some candied orange peels?
The addition of ¼ cup of candied orange peel, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, and ½ tsp nutmeg did the naughty and nice trick for me. (I would recommend doubling this amount if you are planning on baking the whole recipe.) I used Pierre Hermé’s Candied Orange Peel’s recipe and this will be my go-to recipe from now on.
If you would like to get your spice on, please visit Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories who is the host for this week’s recipe.
Pierre Hermé’s Candied Orange Peel
Adapted from Desserts by Pierre Hermé by Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan
4 cups water
2 1/3 cups sugar plus more for coating the peels
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 black peppercorns, crushed
1 star anise pulp from 1 vanilla bean
- Using a sharp knife, peel each orange into quarters. Do not worry if there is some fruit left on the peel – actually try to include a sliver of fruit on each peel.
- Bring 4 cups of cold water to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Have a colander on stand by.
- Place the peel in the saucepan and boil for 2 min.
- Remove only the peel from the water and rinse the peel under cold running water for 2 min. Keep the boiling water in the pan because you will use it again.
- Repeat the entire blanching and cooling sequence three times.
- Place the sugar, lemon juice, black pepper, star anise and the vanilla pulp in a large casserole with the left over water and bring the mixture to boil.
- Add the peel and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring from time to time.
- Chill overnight.
- The next day, lay the peel out on a rack and dry overnight. It helps if you set the rack over a baking sheet so you could catch any drippings.
- Once the peel is dry, toss it in some sugar to coat completely.
- Store the candied peel in an airtight container in the refrigerator.