Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Jamaican Buttermilk, Apple and Ginger Cake – resistance is futile !

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An oldie, but a goodie

When the virtue of patience was being dished out, I was too darned impatient to wait in line. If only I’d known...
... You see, the thing with Jamaican Ginger Cake is, that while it takes under an hour from start to finish, it is best wrapped and left for 24 hours for the flavours to develop.
All those spices smell so good. I know from experience that I will probably unwrap a little corner to take a peak - just to make sure the Alchemy is working... (I’ve been know to dig up seeds to see if they have started developing roots yet...).
Before you know it, I’ll be cutting a wee slice - just a taste - and that tiny taste will call for another... the irresistible warmth of the spices... the tender sticky crumb and I’ll never learn just how good it can be when I include that missing ingredient, patience!
Up the ginger quotient by increasing the amount of allspice and fresh ginger to taste. A little finely chopped stem ginger stirred into the batter also heats things up a bit.
Will I be able to resist this time? We’ll see...
For one irresistible 1 x 2lb loaf you will need...
... to preheat the oven to 160˚C
a little butter for greasing a 2lb loaf tin
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground allspice* (not mixed spice!)
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon fine table salt 
100g treacle
100g golden syrup
100g dark brown sugar
100g butter
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
125mls buttermilk**
150g unsweetened stewed apple***
1 egg, beaten 

Grease and baseline a 2lb loaf tin (or line with a loaf tin liner).
Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground spices and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Weigh the treacle and golden syrup directly into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, butter, fresh ginger and vanilla extract and place over a low heat just until the butter has melted into the other ingredients. Remove from the heat immediately – at no point should it simmer or boil.
Meanwhile, mix together the buttermilk, stewed apple and beaten egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the bowl and stir with a whisk until combined into a thick batter.
Melt, mix, stir, pour - it's that simple !

Add the warm mixture from the saucepan and whisk until combined into a smooth, fairly runny batter. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and transfer to the preheated oven.
Bake for 40 minutes or until well risen and the surface bounces back when lightly pressed. A cocktail stick inserted in the middle should come out clean, with no crumbs clinging. (Replace in the oven for a further 5 minutes if necessary and test again.)
Leave in the tin until completely cold, then remove from the tin and wrap in a layer of baking paper, then in cling film. Leave for at least 24 hours for the flavours to develop before cutting into thick slices and devouring with a decent cup of tea or coffee.
It is not the most beautiful cake in the world, but a dusting of icing sugar works wonders against the dark crumb of the cake, or you could drizzle with a water icing made according to the instructions on the packet.

Not the most beautiful cake in the world. A dusting of icing sugar works wonders !
*Allspice is a gorgeous warm aromatic dried berry – also called Jamaican Pepper – I grind the berries as I need them as they have a longer shelf life than ready ground – and there is the bonus of the lovely aroma they release when crushed.
Mixed spice is ... um... a mixture of spices.
**If you don’t have buttermilk, simply use the same amount of fresh milk to which you have added a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
***For the stewed apple, simply peel, core and slice a large Bramley apple or similar (prepared weight approximately 200g. Place the flesh of the apple in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, apple juice or cider. Place over a medium heat. Cover and allow the apple to steam in its own juices – stirring occasionally - for about 15 minutes or until completely soft and the slices of apple can be easily mashed with a fork. Mash to a reasonably smooth puree and leave to cool before using as above.
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  1. Oh I have to make this! And, no, I don't think I will be able to wait either.

  2. It reminds me of English tea cake. I would love a slice, maybe two, with some chai for the breakfast!

  3. This looks quote wonderful! I love the spices in it. Perfect for a cool day with a cup of tea.

  4. Wow, this looks so moist and delectable. Great to have it for breakfast and tea time. Thumbs up and cheers :_

  5. Haha I can share the same experience. It's very very hard for me to wait, especially something delicious coming out from the oven. I'll need to bake two - one for later, which is going to be the best result, and one for right after the oven... :) This sounds wonderful and cozy with a cup of tea!

  6. I love the smell of spices all on their own, Hester. Baking them up in this cake would be too much to wait for. (I need to grind my own allspice, too.)

  7. This ginger cake looks so moist and delicious, I love the apple flavour running through it!
    I can smell it already!

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Damn delicious cake!!!
    wort to give this recipe a try!!!

  9. Lovely recipe and I especially like the tag line - resistance is futile! :D

  10. I love Jamaican food. This is going to be a favourite in our house, I can just tell from the ingredients and that photo!

  11. Best title ever - resistance IS futile!

  12. This would never make it to the wrapping phase in my house. My husband would be grousing until I sliced a piece for him. :)

  13. Jamaican buttermilk? Now where will I find that novel ingredient? Only joking, Hester. I love the sound of this recipe, especially the addition of the apple. Gotta try to this weekend.


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