Jamaican Ginger Cake

I wish I could say this is one of those recipes where I reminisce about being back on a beautiful beach in Jamaica…but unfortunately, I’ve never been to Jamaica. I’ve always wanted to go and maybe at some point in the next few years I will, but until then, I tried my very best to create a traditional Jamaican ginger cake, I found the recipe on the Tesco website, and aside from ginger wine (never heard of it) all the ingredients were really easy to come by, I even had a go at making my own crystallized ginger! This recipe is quick and simple and leaves you with a beautiful, spicy ginger cake! 

Serves 9

For The Cake:

100g Butter
100g Dark Brown Sugar 
175g Golden Syrup (I used maple syrup)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten 
175g Self-Raising Flour 
4tsp Ground Ginger (I only had nutmeg and it worked just as well)
100g Raw Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
10g Crystallised Ginger 

For The Crystallised Ginger:

10g Raw Ginger, peeled and chopped
600ml Water 
100g Granulated Sugar 

We’re gonna start by making the crystallized ginger, word of warning, mine wasn’t too successful but it all tasted amazing once it was in the cake. I think to improve it, I should have chopped the ginger into square chunks rather than very thin slices as it would have cooked better and taken on the sugar better, so just remember to chop into bite-size rather chunks rather really really thin slices (if you look up crystallized ginger online you’ll see how big the pieces should be). 

To start, we’re gonna boil 600ml of water.

Once the water is boiling, add the ginger chunks and sugar and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to simmering and leave it for 5 minutes. 

While the ginger pieces are boiling we can make our cake batter! Preheat your oven to 170C/ 150 Fan/ Gas Mark 3 and whisk together the butter, sugar, and salt until you have a smooth mixture. 

Pour in the golden/maple syrup and eggs into the butter and sugar and whisk all together until you have a smooth batter. 

Back to the crystallized ginger, once the 5 minutes are up, take it off the heat and leave it to soak in the sugar water for 20 minutes. 

Strain the ginger chunks, if you want you can keep the ginger water and use it to make ginger ale! That’s a recipe for another day. 

Put the ginger on a non-stick tray and place in the oven, let them cook until the ginger is almost dry but still chewy, I left mine for about 15 minutes but it probably could have stayed in longer just keep checking their consistency every 10 minutes. 

Once out of the oven, allow the ginger to cool for a few minutes. 

Grease a loaf tin (I didn't have one so used a roasting tray and it came out more as a traybake which is fine too).

Ok, back to the cake mix. Sift the flour and nutmeg into the mix, then add your raw ginger and crystallized ginger in and whisk until fully combined. 

Spoon the batter into your loaf/roasting tin and bake in the oven for between 50-60 minutes until the cake has taken on a deep brown colour and a skewer comes out clean. 

Allow the cake to cool for about 20 mins before serving!

And there you have it! A beautiful and fragrant Jamaican ginger cake, I was so happy with how it turned out, although I wished it would have been in a loaf-form it still tasted amazing! The original Tesco recipe asked for 50g of both raw and crystallized ginger but I think if you pair that with the ground ginger AND the ginger wine they wanted in there, it might have been a bit over-powering so I think the 100g of raw ginger and just that small amount of lovely chewy crystallised ginger gives you more than enough flavour but also a little texture difference than just plain cake. 
As I said before, I wish I could say I’d had ginger cake in Jamaica and this tasted close to it, but I don’t know, I'm really pleased with the taste and would be proud to give it to family and friends, but I guess I'll just have to wait a bit longer to try some authentic ginger cake for myself!

H x