When you think of gingerbread, do you picture crisp cookies and holiday decorations? Or do you picture a moist, cakey treat that is best served warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream? We’ve been leaning towards the latter!
In celebration of the holiday season, we’re sharing a couple of gingerbread recipes with you. The first yields a dark, moist cake, and the second (adapted from a USDA/NFSMI recipe) is geared toward high volume service. Both are delicious served either warm or chilled, and both recipes are written for the CVap Thermalizer Oven.
Moist Gingerbread (Small Batch)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into a prepared pan.
- Bake on Channel 4 for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.
Gingerbread (Large Batch @100 Servings)
¾ gallon + ½ cup enriched all-purpose flour
¼ gallon whole wheat flour
¼ cup baking soda
3 ½ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 ½ cups vegetable oil
20 large egg whites
1 quart 3 ½ cups water, hot
1 quart 3 cups molasses
2 cups chopped ginger
- Select Channel 3 to preheat CVap Thermalizer. Prepare two 18×26 size pans by covering with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ground ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 1 minute until ingredients are combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix vegetable oil, egg whites, hot water, and molasses with a large wire whip until blended.
- Slowly add the wet oil mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for 1 minute.
- Pour @ 1 gallon of batter into each sheet pan and scatter chopped ginger over the top.
- Place in the preheated Thermalizer oven and bake 35 minutes.
- Cut each pan into 5×10 pattern or 50 pieces per sheet pan.
To Hold Warm Gingerbread
Hold baked gingerbread for up to two hours in CVap with the Food Temperature set at 140° F and the Food Texture set at 5° F.
For chocolate lovers, Valentine’s Day conjures images of heart-shaped boxes filled with delicious confections. I love chocolate as much as the next guy, and it got me thinking: can we temper chocolate in CVap? What a fun experiment to play with!
I was thinking of a concept combining chocolate and maybe some fruit to create a tasty treat. I spoke briefly with my friend Rachel Sundet of http://statepark.is/ in Cambridge and got a few tips about chocolate.
As you may know there are many ways to temper chocolate, some more involved than others. No matter which method you choose, precision temperature is of the utmost importance. Whether you use the classic stovetop or microwave method or even the unique method of using a sous-vide cooker, if the temperature is not right, the chocolate won’t be right, either. I found additional information about tempering chocolate here: https://www.ecolechocolat.com/en/chocolate-tempering.html
I thought CVap would provide the control required, and it turns out I was right!
Utilizing the info at www.ecolecholat.com , I decided to set our CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, Food Temp at 125, and 1 level Browning. I did not know how long it would take so I set the timer for 1 hour. The chocolate that we used for this experiment was http://www.ghirardelli.com/shop-1/flavors/dark-chocolate.html
I placed 3 lbs in a stainless bowl wrapped with plastic wrap to keep the water away from the chocolate, and I place 1.5 lbs of chocolate in sous vide bag that I then vacuum sealed. The chocolate was placed in the CVap oven until it reached its critical temperature of 120F. The chocolate actually reached its temp in 30 minutes, but I allowed an extra ten minutes just to be safe. Once the chocolate was removed I set the cabinet at 90 +0.
While the cabinet was cooling down I stirred the tempered chocolate in the bowl just until smooth and returned it to the cooled 90F cabinet.
With the vacuum-sealed chocolate, all I did was press lightly until the chocolate was evenly distributed and returned it to the cabinet.
Wait – I almost forgot the fruit! While the chocolate was in the first stage of tempering, I hot-marinated freshly sliced pineapple in the same cabinet, slow-poaching it in orange juice, sorghum molasses, and a dash of chipotle pepper.
Now the moment of truth! Fresh strawberries were washed and dried and then dipped into the freshly tempered chocolate. Beautiful. I grilled the warm poached pineapple, topped it with the warm marinade, and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and then drizzled a bit more tempered chocolate to finish. What a sweet Valentine’s experiment indeed!
For more information about the complete line of CVap products, please visit our website at http://www.winstonindustries.com