We love ginger at GFHQ and with the rapidly cooling Autumn temperatures, it is the perfect time of year to use it. Miss GF has already put in her order for a batch of crisp, warming Christmas Ginger Biscuits and there are a couple of jars of Brown-Sugared Pear & Ginger Preserve maturing in the larder. I’m getting excited about plans for another Christmassy Gingerbread House, complete with glittery, snowy gardens and you can be sure I will be adding a good hit of the ginger stuff to this year’s seasonal home-made Fruity Mincemeat. But this winter, we have a new addition to the GF ginger hall of fame……. Jamaican Ginger Cake.
The plan to develop this recipe came from a chance conversation with a work colleague, who was telling me that every year at Christmas, she gets demands to make a family favourite to go with Christmas dinner….. Nigella Lawson’s Gingerbread Stuffing. I have never made it myself and was not aware of its existence until now, but it does look mighty good!
Unfortunately, my colleague’s mother is unable to enjoy the annual gingerbread stuffing feast with the rest of the family as she happens to be gluten free….. But if I could possibly find my way to working out how to make a gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake (which is crucial to the stuffing recipe)….. then my colleague may just become the ‘best daughter in the world’….
Regular followers of my blog will know that waving a gluten free culinary challenge in my face is something I simply cannot ever refuse, especially when it comes from someone I know…. and once a decision is made to try, I have to keep going until I have not only achieved, but achieved to a high standard. Expectations raised, the Jamaican Ginger Cake chase was on.
Most of us will know of Jamaican Ginger Cake from the packet version made by McVitie’s. It was a childhood favourite….. the dark sponge and sticky texture was both unique and quite addictive to eat. Having done some internet research, I have been completely unable to find anything that tells me about its history. I can only assume that it originated in Jamaica, but it now seems to be popular in every part of the world. If anyone knows anything about where the story started, please let me know…..
Either way, having tweaked and tested this recipe a few times, I am really pleased with my gluten free result. The warming ginger kick, treacly stickiness and mysterious comforting darkness of the sponge is extremely close to my (albeit increasingly distant) memories of cakes past…. I am happy that my gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake is a pretty good comparison. It tastes fantastic on its own, with custard, with ice cream and even with butter (which is how I remember it best). I just hope it does its job with the stuffing…… which I now have every intention of trying.
Best of all….. Miss GF has been able to try another one of my childhood cake-memories! And just like her mother……. her favourite way to eat it is smothered in a layer of creamy, rich, natural butter…..
I am sharing my gluten free Jamaican Ginger Cake with the following linkies :
Tea Time Treats with Lavender & Lovage, Travels for Taste and Jo’s Kitchen. Jamaican Ginger Cake has to be one of the most warming comforting cakes there is, so is a perfect share for this month’s theme : Comfort Food.
Sunday Fitness & Food with Marathons & Motivation.
Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum.
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.
Other gluten free ginger recipes on the Gluten Free Alchemist blog :
Brown-Sugared Pear & Ginger Preserve
Banana, Apple, Walnut & Ginger Bread
Apricot, Ginger & White Chocolate Cookies
Double Chocolate Cupcakes with a hint of Ginger
Gingerbread Stars & People
Jamaican Ginger Cake – gluten free/optional dairy free (makes one 2 pound loaf)
200g soft light brown sugar
120g black liquid treacle (molasses)
60g golden syrup
1 large egg – lightly beaten
170g boiling water
- Completely line a 2 pound loaf tin with baking paper (base and sides).
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Weigh and mix together the flours, almonds, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the brown sugar and stir through.
- Add the treacle, golden syrup and beaten egg and lightly mix into the flour.
- Add the boiling water and beat thoroughly with a silicone or wooden spoon until you have a smooth, sticky, well-blended batter.
- Spoon or pour the batter into the loaf tin and gently push into the corners and smooth the top.
- Bake for 1 hour until well-risen and a skewer comes out clean. If you use smaller loaf tins, adjust the baking time to about 30 to 40 minutes).
- When baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
- When cold, remove and store wrapped in clingfilm (you can leave the baking paper intact) until ready to eat.