It’s that time of year again. Every December since 2013 we have released our (legendary) imperial stout, U-889, made extra special by aging on heaps of vanilla beans and the addition of cold brew coffee. It’s a little different every year, it ages incredibly well, and it’s release is a sure sign that the holidays are upon us. If you have not read the original story of U-889, it’s a good one, and like many of our beers it is tied to local history. But this year I have been inspired to celebrate it’s release (and it’s 5 year anniversary) with some baking.
I am a hockey mom of two boys, so although I love to bake, my weekends in the winter these days are usually spent in my car touring the rinks of rural Nova Scotia. This weekend, however, I got a reprieve: two home games and no driving, so I decided to celebrate by doing some Christmas baking. A loyal customer and active member of the community here in Shelburne, Louise Lindsay, sought me out last winter to tell me about a fantastic stout gingerbread cake she had baked using U-889. She gave me the recipe and I promised to try it. It was so good I wanted to share it with all of you!
U-889 Stout Gingerbread Cake
1 c. stout (Boxing Rock U-889 Imperial Stout)
1 c. unsulphured molasses
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. chopped crystalized ginger
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F; grease & flour a 12 to 15 cup fluted bundt pan;
- In a medium sauce pan, combine stout & molasses; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, and whisk in baking soda until mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. (It says use a medium saucepan for a reason…don’t cheat like I did or you will make a mess!)
- In a bowl, cream butter, then beat in the granulated sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until mixture is fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in molasses mixture until smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ginger and other dry ingredients until evenly mixed. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until mixture is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Serve with a warm sauce. Lemon, toffee or rum sauce are recommended.
P.S. I didn’t have any rum…so I improvised…bourbon sauce works too.