‘Tis the season for gingerbread. I see that even Burger King has a gingerbread flavor milk shake right now. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I don’t make a lot of gingerbread flavor things. Not because I don’t like it, but I think a person tends to gravitate toward flavors that are traditional for them. At least for me that’s the case. Especially during the holidays. It’s the nostalgia that kicks in.
Gingerbread cakes/cookies are not something that was common to show up at holiday events when I was growing up. Because of that, it is not a flavor that is my first holiday instinct.
You could adjust the spices in the cake to suit your tastes. Some people hate ginger or nutmeg, etc. The chocolate chips get stirred in to the batter but the pear gets sliced and arranged in a pretty pattern on the top of the cake. I scattered a little pretty colored sugar sprinkles on top after the cake cooled to give a little color and make it more festive. You can skip the sprinkles if you want.
Now this isn’t really a true gingerbread cake but it does taste a lot like one. It’s very dense and rich. And it freezes well. This one is stashed in my freezer and will be making a Christmas dessert appearance.
It was an appropriately flavored cake to make this past weekend. The house smelled nice and cozy as we decorated our Christmas tree.We trekked out to the tree farm this weekend in order to, as Tim refers to it, sacrifice the holiday tree. We chopped down and dragged home a lovely and nice smelling Concolor Fir. It has a nice tangerine-ish scent to it.
Being the spouse who tends to have the most patience, (sometimes), I am in charge of putting the lights on the tree. (Plus I am very picky about the lights. . 100 lights or more to each foot of tree is my rule. . .which could drive a person crazy.) We put the ornaments on the tree together and some of that nostalgia I was referring to kicks in and we talk about some of our favorite ornaments and where and when we got them. Every year we add a new ornament to the tree. This years ornament is a tiny little replica of the Southernmost Point Marker in Key West that we got while we were on vacation. Our tree usually has a semi-confused theme. . partially christmas-y with snowflakes and such and partially beach-y with seashells and Santas riding dolphins!
That’s right. . .Santa riding dolphins! Don’t judge.
Chocolate Pear Spice Cake
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
2/3 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (0% fat)
1 Tbsp orange zest
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and molasses together. Add the eggs. Stir in the yogurt and orange zest. Carefully add the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix gently to combine.
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 pear, cored and sliced thin
Stir the chocolate chips into the batter. Spread in the bottom of a greased 9 inch spring form pan. Arrange the pear slices in a pretty pattern on top of the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Dust with powdered sugar or sprinkle with sprinkles if you like.