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