Jamaican Rum & Ginger Cake
When I was young, my Mum would always welcome us home from school with a cup of tea and a piece of cake as a way of fortifying us to do our homework. She was a big believer in the power of cake, although the slices were small. I’ve got one of her old cake tins in my cupboard – it’s tiny and flat compared to the ones I buy now. She used to make two slim vanilla Genoese sponges and sandwich them together with homemade jam, dust the top with icing sugar and serve us a small slice per day. It was certainly sugary and nutritionally empty but it was hardly over-indulgence, coming at the end of an active school day, before playing outside for an hour and in a household where our usual pudding was stewed rhubarb. Sometimes she varied the cake routine and made a ginger loaf, quite like this one although without the rum.
I find this cake so very evocative of autumn, cool afternoons, leaves falling and the anticipation of bonfires. I’ve used inspiration from my Mum and also from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe in River Cottage Everyday which I do indeed, use pretty much everyday. Thanks Hugh, thanks, Mum.
Makes 1 loaf, about 12-14 portions
Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin, and pre heat the oven to 180°C.
In a pan melt the butter, treacle, syrup and sugar together, stir well and let it cool a little.
Chop the ginger into little dice.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
When the butter mixture is OK to dip a finger into, beat in the eggs and add the rum. Pour the whole liquid mixture into the flour, mix well and add the preserved ginger. Scoop the rather runny mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 50 minutes until sticky and brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin and brush the top with some of the ginger syrup. Wrap well in kitchen foil when cold and it will keep for several days, if you can resist eating it all at once.
It’s easy to make double quantities and give some to a friend who needs cheering up.
Some Changes - April 2022
Thanks to my friends and followers for your patience, and for your encouragement to start blogging again.