Armagnac is Made From White Grapes, Aquitania, France
Armagnac is Made From White Grapes, Aquitania, France
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Prune Armagnac Gingerbread



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Peonies in Ginger Jar
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Prune Armagnac Gingerbread
Gourmet February 1994

Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting pan
1 cup chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup Armagnac or Cognac
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
In a skillet cook prunes, Armagnac, and gingerroot over moderately high
heat, stirring frequently, until almost all liquid is evaporated. Remove pan from heat.
Into a bowl sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. In another bowl with
an electric mixer cream shortening. Add sugar, beating, and beat mixture
until light and fluffy. Add molasses in a stream, beating until combined well. Beat in coffee, flour mixture, eggs, and vanilla until batter is just combined. (It may separate at this point.) Reserve 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger and stir remainder into batter with prune mixture. Turn batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with reserved ginger. Bake gingerbread 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool on a rack 1 hour. (The ginger-bread will fall slightly in center.) Serve gingerbread warm or a room temperature with crème fraîche and garnish with sliced kumquats.

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