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This tube cake gingerbread is the creation of my friend Rick Rodgers. Once while he was visiting food writer Bruce Aidells, who is a beer aficionado, they wondered how the intense flavor of stout, the Cabernet Sauvignon of beers, would work as the liquid in a gingerbread. The idea isn’t new after all; I found old Irish recipes using porter ale (a weaker form of stout) in gingerbread, as well as in porter cake, a spicy fruitcake that is also soaked with stout after baking. The dark, dense, malty flavor of the stout ends up making a gourmet, yet old-fashioned, gingerbread that balances the inherent sweetness of the sugar and molasses. I like to use one of the special decorative fluted tube pans to make this cake look really special. Serve warm slices with a small dollop of Orange Hard Sauce melting on the side.
This dish was featured as part of our St. Patty’s Day Recipes photo gallery.