Earl Grey Gingerbread
I don’t want to come across as fickle, but my friends are very seasonal. No, not my people friends, my food friends. My yearning for them changes along with the weather. In the spring, when the days are cool but blooming flowers promise warmth to come, I want verdant herbs and tangy rhubarb. When the days become balmy, I desire juicy fruits and cool salads. And when the days get a bit gloomy, the clouds overflowing with rain, I long for things that will warm me through and through, that are as comforting as a fuzzy blanket and a crackling fire. Sure, we all love things like pumpkin and pecans this time of year, but there is one food friend who calls out even louder to me as the weather turns cold and wet. Tea. Earl Grey, to be precise. Steaming, fragrant, and laced with honey.
My mom gave me her favorite gingerbread recipe on a tiny scrap of paper several months ago, and I’ve had it carefully tucked away in my recipe folder waiting for a moment of craving. That craving hit about a week ago, and my poor belly has had to wait as life has kept me too busy to bake. But those days of waiting gave me time to contemplate: how can I put my own spin on this recipe? How can I make it even better? And then I had it. If ginger and lemon pair so well together, why wouldn’t ginger and citrusy, bergamot-laden Earl Grey tea make a great match?
With the first bite of this bread it was as though the gray skies had cleared.
It’s sweet and fragrant, tender and incredibly crumbly, meant for soaking up dollops of freshly whipped cream (if only I had some at home!). Luckily, it’s perfectly scrumptious plain, the crumbs gathered up with greedy fingers, with a warm beverage to wash it all down. This new take on classic gingerbread will dispel all gloomy feelings and bring brightness to your day.
Earl Grey Gingerbread
© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan of Tart to Heart
Yield: 12 servings
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 cup teff flour
- 1/2 cup millet flour
(You can replace these with 2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour, but I strongly encourage you to track these whole grain flours down and try them out!)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp Earl Grey tea leaves, or the leaves from 4 bags (I used double-bergamot Earl Grey for a stronger flavor)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the tea leaves. Set aside to steep for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, honey, molasses and tea with all the leaves.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs sticking to it, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. Cut into squares and enjoy!