Nancy Wall Hopkin's Chocolate Gingerbread with Simmered Oranges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl combine flour, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, pepper, salt and cloves; set aside. In a small bowl combine molasses, 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside.
In 12-inch oven-going skillet cook and stir 2 tablespoons butter and slivered ginger over medium heat just until butter is melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
In mixing bowl beat the 1/2 cup butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Alternately beat in flour mixture and molasses mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in chocolate. Pour batter over butter-ginger mixture in hot skillet.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on rack 30 minutes (center may dip slightly). Serve warm topped with whipped cream, Simmered Oranges, and crystallized ginger. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Slice oranges crosswise about 1/4 inch thick. Discard seeds. In 12-inch skillet over medium heat bring sugar, and water, orange juice, and lemon juice to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until syrupy. Add orange slices. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes or just until oranges are tender, turning occasionally. Transfer to serving bowl. Cool. Serve with Chocolate Gingerbread