Nothing beats gingerbread when the holidays start rolling around. We’ve all been there in the holiday rut, all those cookie and gingerbread recipes start to look and taste the same… it gets so tired and boring – hmm, what can I do? I know it’s a bit early, but I’ve just been itching to try something sexy and unusual. So I scoured the internet for a new twist on an old favorite, the gingerbread loaf.
Inspired by Broma Bakery’s original gingerbread recipe, I came up with my own version that I absolutely love. This (incredibly photogenic) loaf will leave your family & friends in awe of your incredible baking prowess. Little will they know that it’s incredibly easy to make!
- 4 bosc pears, peeled with stems left on (you will only use three, with one being a backup)
- 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Water (enough to submerge pears, where they float just a little)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 10 cardamom pods, crushed
- Pinch of fennel seeds
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 5 full clovers
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted, but not hot. Additional butter for greasing loaf pan.
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (I used a microplane)
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup plain non- or low-fat yogurt
- Pinch of nutmeg (no, really, just a tiny pinch)
- Heat the pears, red wine, sugar, water (enough so that the pears float slightly, and spices until boiling, then turn heat down to low. Cover & cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove pears from poaching liquid (and quickly spritz off any spices from the outside). Allow them to cool as you mix your dough. Save your poaching liquid! You can use it the following day to poach some more pears (or other fruit)! It also freezes wonderfully.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Grease your non-stick loaf pan with some butter and place in the fridge.
- Beat the butter, molasses, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, beating for an additional 5 or so minutes. Stir in fresh grated ginger.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, whisking to combine.
- Combine the two bowls and the cup of yogurt. It’s going to be a bit powdery and dry at first to be patient
- Place the batter into the loaf pan. Before you grab the pears, pick the three best looking ones – often there is one casualty, but it’s ok! That’s why you have four.
- Your batter shouldn’t be runny, so you should be able to make some equally spaced holes for your pears. You’ll notice if you try to push them in, they might sag or break. Your pears should go in heavy side down, stem up.
- Bake for 1:10 hour. The first time, I had to adjust the temperature and wait longer – make sure you use a toothpick between pears to check your dough (the toothpick should come out clean)
- Your loaf should rest for a half an hour before you remove it from the pan
- Optional: get some confectioners sugar and a fine sieve. Let it snow!