Gluten free dark Jamaican Gingerbread and the bird

Children are a veritable wealth of knowledge.

Kid 1: Did you know that years ago, that angry tennis man John McEnroe flipped the bird at the queen?

Me: Are you sure?

Kid 1: Yes, and the Queen flipped the bird back at him.

Me: Now I know that part didn’t happen.

Kid 1: It did, it did. The Queen flipped the bird.

Me: She did not!

And so it went, did, didn’t, did, didn’t. It turns out he had seen an advertisement for a television ‘mockumentary’ on tennis and at the time, believed it to be a true historical fact.

I for one, imagine that during her illustrious reign, Her Royal Highness must have wanted to flip the bird at least once. (Gesticulating in this manner has certainly crossed my mind once or twice when arguing with Kid 1). This spot of baking hails from the iconic British baker, Delia Smith. This no-nonsense doyenne of English cookery is accredited for teaching two generations of loyal British fans how to cook. Her recipes are reliable and are also easily converted into gluten free options.

In her cookbook Delia’s Cakes, she tells us that this cake was ‘originally from the sugar-and-spice island of Jamaica.’ Darkly treacly, spicy, sticky and chewy. This is almost like a real loaf of bread. It is truly better when wrapped and left for a day and even better (like so many things), when smeared with butter.

Now I just know that Delia would never flip anyone the bird.

GLUTEN FREE DARK JAMAICAN GINGERBREAD

WHAT YOU NEED
180g gf plain flour (130g plain gf flour and 50g sorghum)
1 tbl ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (1/4 nutmeg, grated)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbl milk
75g black treacle or molasses
75g golden syrup
75g dark brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
75g butter
75ml water
1 large egg, lightly beaten

WHAT YOU DO
Getting Ready: Preheat the oven to 170C and line a standard loaf tin with baking paper. Delia suggests using a ready made loaf tin liner (which I did not have.) Place the tin of treacle or molasses and golden syrup bottle in hot water to warm them and make it easier to measure them.
Sift the flours and spices into a large bowl.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the milk and set it to one side.
Measure the treacle/molasses, golden syrup, sugar and butter into a saucepan with 75ml of water. Heat over a low heat and stir gently until thoroughly melted and blended. Don’t let it come anywhere near the boil and don’t go off and leave it.
Next add the syrup mixture to the flour and spices, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon.
When the mixture is smooth, beat the egg in a little at a time, followed by the bicarbonate of soda and milk.
Now pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on a lower shelf, align the the tin with the centre of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour until it’s well-risen and firm to the touch.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out.
If possible, store it in a cake tin in the liner (if you used one) or wrapped in clingfilm for 24 hours before eating. It is delicious smeared with butter.

A Cheergerm adaptation from Delia’s Cakes published by Hodder and Stoughton 2013


Mad men and gluten free gingernuts

A lot of expensive property has been sold, mortgaged and bartered for in our household as of late.

The words ‘jammy little fella’ has been uttered out of the Yaks mouth more than once.

Other phrases also often heard are:

‘I’m buying it.’
‘You cheated.’
‘I can’t believe you landed on my property.’

Along with a few sentences I hope to never hear out of the mouths of my angelic babes when they are all growed up.

‘I am in jail.’
‘I can’t get out of jail.’
‘I owe you $500,000.’
‘Hey! We’re in jail together!’

Yes, I am living in a household of Mad Monopoly Men. It’s not a game this Cheergerm adores (however, offer me a game of charades or Cluedo and I will trounce you sir, wipe the floor with you, annihalate…..well, you get my drift) but it’s a game I love to hear my mad monopoly men play. The shouts of joy, groans of disappointment and the clickety clack of the dice rolling on our kitchen table.

Kid 2 has landed on Mayfair ten times in a row. Someone should conduct a study on chance, based on this child’s uncanny ability. Kid 1 has stated that next time he shouldn’t be allowed to buy it, as all that power is going to his head.

This treat is for all you mad monopoly lovers.

My kids didn’t have a hope in hell of not loving ginger baked goodies. This New Zealand born, Aussie raised Cheergerm suckled on ginger kisses (a biscuit) and gingernuts as a babe. No such thing as breast milk in those days. Here you go little six month old baby, suck on this gingernut and while you are at it, we will put you in the back of a dodgy European car in an untethered woven bassinet covered by a piece of flimsy netting. In case of an accident, the netting was really going to save me. Thank-you zealous safety people of the world who realised that netting was not a deterrent from being thrown through the front window of a questionable European car.

These biscuits were pretty moreish, ginger zingy and bicarby zangy. Hard on the outside, slightly softer in the middle. Not quite the same as it’s gluten laden kissing cousin but pretty bloody decent. Next time I will double the recipe as it makes 16 smallish bikkies. Barely touched the sides.

GLUTEN FREE GINGERNUTS

WHAT YOU NEED
110g gluten free self raising flour
1 slightly rounded teaspoon ground ginger
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 g raw caster sugar
50g unsalted butter room temperature
50g (or 2 tbl golden syrup)

HOW YOU DO IT
Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and preheat the oven to 180C.
Sift the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and lightly rub in the butter till crumbly.
Add the golden syrup and mix everything into a stiff paste. No liquid is needed as the syrup is enough to get the mixture to the right consistency.
Divide the mixture into quarters, as evenly as possible, then each quarter into four and roll these pieces into little balls. (They are quite little.)
Place on baking sheet, leaving room between them as they spread out a bit.
Flatten slightly (to 1.5cm) and bake in centre of oven for 10-12 minutes.
They will spread out and gain a lovely cracked appearance.
Cool on baking tray for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling and store in an airtight container.
Makes 16 bikkies.

Thanks Delia Smith for the original recipe, from Delia’s Cakes revised edition 2013, Hodder and Stoughton. I just changed the flour to a gluten free blend. You are a goddess of baking and good sense.

http://www.deliaonline.com

http://www.griffins.co.nz/by-name/gingernuts