I found a deep love for gingerbread after living in Europe.
Simple, easy and delicious, Germany is the mecca for gingerbread. Every baker has his or her secret recipe, but making gingerbread is easier than what meets the eye.
The history of gingerbread is fascinating. Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk, Gregory Makar. He migrated to a French town and lived there for seven years. He taught gingerbread baking to French Christians.
After Centuries of perfecting gingerbread, German immigrants brought gingerbread to Sweden. In the 15th Century, Germans created a guild to control gingerbread production. In 1444, Swedish nuns made gingerbread as a form of a digestive.
In medieval England, many claimed gingbread contained medicinal properties. Today, it's no secret that ginger is
Hannover, Germany is this perfect little gem that exists in a chaotic, unpure world. The Christmas markets were no different. These were the best Christmas's I have ever experienced. The atmosphere is untouchable, sort of like a fairy-tale land that doesn't exist anywhere else.
From traditional stalls to medieval bread stands, there is something for everyone to explore.
Gingerbead is a notable German Christmas treat. Cranberries are quintessential to the American holiday experience. This cake blends my love for both the German and American baking culture.
It combines the best of sweet, savory and tangy flavors that boast the best of Christmas flavors. It looks complex and it does require a cabinet stocked with various ingredients, but it's well worth it!
Vegan Gingerbread Cake Topped with Vanilla Frosting & Cranberry-Orange Compote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1.5 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp clove
1 1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vegan butter (1 buttery stick)
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch chunks and place in a separate bowl. Pour the boiling water on top and mix until the butter has melted. Once melted, add the last four ingredients into the butter-water mix and stir until combined.
Gradually, add the dry into the wet and whisk until combined. Grease an 8-inch round pan (used springfoam) and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until fragrant and a knife comes out dry.
While baking, make the frosting, followed by the compote.
1/2 stick of vegan butter (1/4 cup), room temperature
4.5 tbsp powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cream the butter and vanilla with a mixer or an egg beater. Gradually add the powder sugar and mix until fluffy.
Frost the cake once the cake is completely cooled.
Meanwhile, make the cranberry compote.
Cranberry Compote Ingredients
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 small navel orange juiced
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
Cranberry Compote Directions:
Place the ingredients into a pan and cook on medium heat. Once the cranberries pop, crush the berries with the fork and continue to mix until a jelly-like substance forms. After you frost the cake, place the compote on top.
*This compote is a bit tart so you can always add more sugar, but between the frosting and the cake, I do not think you need to nutrtionally add anymore.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com