Chocolate-Swirl Pumpkin Gingerbread

ImageLove it or hate it (or have an unsettlingly complicated love-hate relationship with it), it’s pumpkin season! I’ve driven by three different pumpkin patches in the last week. There’s a pumpkin-themed 5k/10k run in my town this weekend. Even the trees are orange. Though I guess that’s a whole different thing.

I don’t have any strong feelings either way about pumpkin. But one thing I do love about it – you can turn it into just about anything. Pancakes. Cookies. Pie, Soup. Bread. Jack-o-lantern. 5k run, even. And, you can mix it with just about anything. Chocolate. Coffee. Beans (in the soup). Bacon. It’s a vegetable with a lot of potential.

This is a recipe that showcases pumpkin in all its glory but has enough other flavors in it that if you don’t like pumpkin, you’ll still love this. It’s ginger-y, cinnamon-y, and there’s chocolate.

First we melt the chocolate. Chocolate is fragile, and melting is best done in a double boiler. If you’re like me and don’t have one, set a heat-proof bowl on top of a small pot of boiling water. Just a little bit of water in the pan, don’t let it touch the bottom of the bowl. The steam will melt the chocolate.

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Then we’ll mix our dry ingredients together.

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And in a separate bowl, our wet ingredients.

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And then everything gets mixed together.

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We layer batter and chocolate in a baking dish, and run a knife through to make it look nice.

ImageAnd bake! I blame the monochromatic-ness of this on my oven, which I’m pretty sure has a completely uncontrolled heating mechanism and gradually gets hotter and hotter no matter where I set the temperature. It has a near 100% success rate burning the bottoms of my cookies.

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Monochromatic it may be, but this gingerbread is delicious. A little sweet, and it’s got enough spice to warm you on a cool fall day while you watch the orange leaves fall past your window.

Chocolate-Swirl Pumpkin Gingerbread

From The Family Flavor, a wonderful book, which I learned about from this lovely blog.

Yields one 9×13-pan, however servings that is for you and yours

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

2 c all-purpose flower

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c molasses

1/2 c pumpkin puree

1/2 c boiling water

Set oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In a double boiler, add the chocolate. Melt, stirring occasionally and then remove pan from heat, leaving the bowl on the double boiler to keep the chocolate melted.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a bowl with a wooden spoon, you can totally do this by hand), combine sugar and butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in molasses and pumpkin. Stir in the boiling water. With a rubber scraper, fold in flour mixture.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Pour in half the melted chocolate in an “S” pattern. Pour on the remaining batter, then top with the remaining chocolate. Run a butter knife through the batter to better swirl the chocolate, but do not fully incorporate.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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