The amazing white chocolate-covered White House Gingerbread House created by White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses has been getting much attention lately, as one of the best parts of the 2009 holiday decorations in the Executive Mansion. That particular architectural confection will never be eaten; after weeks of being on display in the State Dining Room, the White House Gingerbread House will be taken across the street to the White House Visitors Center after the holidays, for public viewing (Above: Chef Yosses with the gingerbread extravaganza).
But Chef Yosses has a lovely recipe for Gingerbread Cake, perfect for home holiday baking, and it invokes all the same holiday cheer as the White House Gingerbread House.
The recipe is not only delicious, but it's also pretty easy to make. The cake tastes fantastic while still warm, and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. You can even shave white chocolate curls on to the top, to make it a tasty replication of the White House Gingerbread House, if you feel that inspired. Happy Holidays!
White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' Gingerbread CakeIngredients
1/2 Cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) butter
1/2 Cup (2 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup dark molasses
1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup honey
1 3/4 Cups cake flour, sifted
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger or 1 Tbsp powdered ginger
3 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
1 Cup heavy cream, chilled
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over a double boiler, with water boiling, melt the butter, brown sugar, molasses, water and honey. Stir occasionally until ingredients melt. Remove from heat when butter is melted.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Sift the mixture together into a second bowl, and set aside.
3. After the butter/sugar mixture has melted, add ginger and blend together. Whisk in the eggs, being careful not to allow these to actually cook.
4. Gradually pour the flour mixture into the warm butter mixture, whisking constantly until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
5. Butter two 10-inch cake pans.
6. Divide batter and fill each pan. Place in pre-heated oven, and bake for fifty minutes or until cakes are dark brown on top and spring back to the touch, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack.
7. In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and whipped cream, and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Serve on the side of slices of gingerbread cake.
Makes 8 servings.
Related: All the details about the White House Gingerbread House, with a video about the creation, are here. Chef Yosses writes a blog post about the gingerbread house here. Yosses's recipe for White House Holiday Honey Cupcakes is here. His recipe for White House Apple Pie is here; his recipe for healthy Baked Apples is here. Yosses gives a video tour of the White House pastry kitchen here. There's pie making happening in it, of course. A full bio of his extensive background is here.
*This recipe also appears in Yosses's excellent baking manual, Desserts for Dummies, which is featured in the 2009 Obama Foodie Holiday Gift Guide.