A few weeks ago I purchased a beautiful loaf tin, which is actually made of tin, as part of my graduation present. I’ve been so excited about using it, but for some reason didn’t actually get round to doing so until today. However, it turns out that it works just fine – I have already decided what my next loaf cake shall be. This is a favourite recipe of Katherine’s grandmother, Ena, who lives in Sunderland; though I think the recipe was originally taken from an old Be-Ro cookery book. Wherever it comes from it is utterly delicious and incredibly dense and sticky; just how gingerbread ought to be. Just remember that any cake recipes those of a certain age make use of are generally sound, simply because they’ve been tested so many times they must be delicious.
The black treacle used in this recipe gives the cake an almost dark and intensely rich flavour. Despite this being a ginger cake I must say that the treacle really is the star of the show – it defines every positive characteristic of this cake, except for the flavour of the ginger. However, I must say that the inclusion of golden syrup was a stroke of genius on behalf of the author of the recipe. The flavour of the treacle is just about perfect, any more and it would perhaps have been a little overpowering – this is gingerbread after all.
I think I shall try to incorporate some more hand-me-down recipes as they are, in general, fantastic. Hopefully, though I’m not certain I’ll be able to, the next one shall be the family recipe for Christmas pudding. Gran wants me to help her make some as her arms are a little dodgy this year; she could probably cope if she was making just the one, but she’s actually making six – absurd.
Edit: For you Americans who live in America, a place where nothing is as it should be, black treacle is essentially molasses. Golden syrup, however, appears to be a rarity in America. Though, I suppose one could use any type of pale refined treacle or mosey on down to a specialised baking shop. Mixed spice is similar to what you would call pumpkin pie spice in America, according to a certain internet based encyclopedia.
Fills a 2lb loaf tin
• 225g plain flour
• A pinch of salt
• 2 tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 55g light muscovado sugar
• 110g margarine or butter
• 165g black treacle
• 55g golden syrup
• 150ml milk
• 2 eggs
1. Heat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Sieve together the flour, salt, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda, before stirring in the sugar.
2. Melt together the margarine, treacle and syrup over a gentle heat. Gradually beat in the milk and allow the mixture to cool a little. Beat the eggs before stirring them into the treacle mixture. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, tip into your loaf tin and bake for 1 ¼ hours.
Cost: Things like treacle and golden syrup really are very inexpensive – a whole tin of the golden syrup, which was roughly 5 times what I needed, set me back a mere 55p. In fact, every ingredient in this cake is reasonably priced – the entire cake should do one’s wallet out of a mere £1.20. That’s really quite unbelievable.