Traditional -- yet extravagant --
Once upon a time, a variety of ancient people would make
a honey and ginger cake as a special
treat and only later did molasses replace honey. Both
the ancient Romans and the Chinese were
fond of this delicacy. In the European middle ages, Gingerbread was served
as a medicine to aid
has been written that George Washington’s mother served
Gingerbread to the Marquis de Lafayette
in 1784 on his visit with the President. Whether as a Christmas season
cake or the popular cookie,
gingerbread has been around America for some time.
Over the decades, recipes change sometimes improving and
sometimes taking a second place
to product availability, cost and time in preparation. Gingerbread cake
recipes fall into two basic
categories: first is the time honored cooking method by ‘fire & water’ (
immersing a mold in water
and cooking with lots of steps) and the second is
throwing the mixture into a 9 by 9 pan and baking
and finally topping off the cake with some icing.
Neither method appeals to me. The first method
comes from a time when ovens didn’t exist and the second
was developed when time and cost
was the major concern.
as has been said, ‘we want recipes that were developed
after a period of reflection where
considerations of time and cost invested are secondary to the extravagancy
experienced.” Is this a bit over the top? However, you
get the idea.