Ooh, now this is a lovely recipe. Does anyone remember the sticky Jamaica ginger cake from McVities? Is it still available? Remember the top of the gingerbread loaf, so sticky and delicious? Perhaps my childhood nostaglia is taking over, and McVities’ offering isn’t so great, but in my mind it’s like a holy grail of gingerbread, and so difficult to replicate. Sometimes homemade gingerbread can be a bit dry and disappointing, and not very ginger-y at all. In this recipe, the Guinness really accentuates the ginger flavour and, along with the sour cream, makes the most moist crumb. The top is sticky, as gingerbread should be, and the flavours and stickiness only improve the next day. Be sure to use the freshest ground ginger you have, not the remains of some sad old jar only brought out from the back of the cupboard for Christmas baking. Lidl (and perhaps Aldi?) both sell ground ginger, so a great fresh flavour won’t break the bank. If you don’t have any ground cloves, you can grind some yourself using a pestle and mortar.
Recipe taken from Nigella’s most recent book, Kitchen. I love this book.
What You Need:
300g golden syrup (yes this seems like alot, it will be ok, trust me)
200g dark muscavado sugar
250 ml Guinness (stout, not draught is better here)
2 tsp ground ginger (the fresher the better)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
300g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml sour cream (I only had a small tub (200ml), so I made up the difference with creme fraiche)
2 large eggs
What To Do:
Grab a square baking tin (I used an 8x8inch tin), line it with aluminium foil and then grease the foil. Preheat the oven to 170C.
Place the butter, golden syrup, sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves into a medium saucepan and heat gently until the butter and syrup are melted together. Pick your saucepan carefully, as you will mix all the ingredients in this eventually.
Remove from the heat and add the baking soda and flour. Combine using a whisk, mixing well to get rid of any lumps. The baking soda will begin to bubble.
Beat the eggs and sour cream together in a jug or bowl and add to the saucepan. Again, mix well to get rid of any lumps. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin.
Yes, the tin looks way too full, but it’s ok as the mixture won’t rise alot during baking. I put a baking tin on the shelf below in case there was an overflow, but the bubbling of the soda has already given the mixture quite a bit of volume, and most of the rising during baking happened in the centre. Bake for 45 minutes (mine took a little longer).
Nigella says the gingerbread is done when the centre has risen to a gleaming dome and the edges are starting to come away from the tin. If you’re unsure, give it another few minutes in the oven. Mine was barely coming away from the edges when I took it out, and the very centre of it was a little squidgy when cooled.
Cool in the tin and cut into squares. Lovely with a cup of tea, or a glass of cold milk. For a more wintery treat, serve warm with homemade custard.