Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox
Makes 18 cupcakes.
One 3-inch knob fresh ginger
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup stout beer, such as Guinness
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
3/4 cup dark molasses, such Grandma's
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed dark brown sugar, or organic dark brown molasses sugar, such as Billington's
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 large egg
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup brewed coffee, or more if needed, cooled
1 tablespoon dark molasses, such as Grandma's
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the candied ginger, peel and thinly slice the knob of fresh ginger lengthwise. Cut each strip into thin sticks. Put the ginger in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Strain out the ginger, return it to the pan, and repeat this process two more times. Drain the ginger and set it aside.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1 cup water in the same saucepan, stirring to make sure all of the sugar is damp. Bring to a boil, add the ginger, and simmer over medium-low heat until the ginger becomes translucent, about 10 minutes.
Strain out the ginger, discarding the syrup, and spread it out on baking sheet. Toss it with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and leave it to dry for 2 hours, or overnight.
For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, and line 6 more cups in a second muffin tin.
In a large saucepan, bring the beer, coffee, and molasses to a boil; whisk together to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Be cautious; it will bubble up quite a bit. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, Demerara sugar, and grated fresh ginger. Whisk in the egg. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, white pepper, and salt. In three additions of each, alternately whisk the flour mixture and the beer mixture into the brown sugar mixture to combine.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters of the way. Bake, without opening the oven, for 20 minutes. Then turn the tins and bake until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 5 minutes more. Invert the cupcakes onto a wire rack, turn them top side up, and let them cool completely.
To make the icing, put the confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk in the coffee, molasses, and vanilla. If the glaze is too thick for dipping, add another 1/2 tablespoon coffee. Dip the top of each cupcake in the molasses icing and then top it with a couple of strands of candied ginger. Return the cupcakes to the wire rack to let the icing set up, at least 30 minutes. The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
From The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox. Copyright 2009 by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox. Published by Clarkson Potter. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.