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Yield: 16 servings
From The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook, Ten Speed Press, 1995
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Granulated sugar
1/3 cup Molasses
3 cups Flour
3/4 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa or your favorite cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Heavy (whipping) cream
3 tbsp Confectioners (icing) sugar
1 tbsp Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa or your favorite cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, ground chocolate or cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Alternatively, add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the creamed mixture, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beaters with a rubber spatula after each addition. Spread batter in the prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the gingerbread. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool completely.
To make the topping, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar, ground chocolate and vanilla extract. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar mixture to the cream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Cut gingerbread into squares and serve with a dollop of topping.