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Fresh Gingerbread

This isn't just any old gingerbread. This gingerbread is legendary. It even got a mention in my husband's wedding speech! It is the cake I baked the first time he came to dinner at my house. It's rather special!

This is the recipe, which is a slight adaptation of Nigella Lawson's fabulous Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing from "How to be a Domestic Godess." All I can say about this book is if you don't have a copy you should get yourself one, as it really will turn you into a Domestic Godess, especially if you bake the cakes.

Fresh Gingerbread

150g unsalted butter       

125g dark muscovado sugar   

200g golden syrup

200g black treacle  

2-4 teaspoons of ground ginger (I always use 4, in fact I usually just pour it in. I don't think you can have too much! Nigella uses fresh ginger, which would be wonderful but we don't often have it).

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon   

250ml milk

2 large eggs, beaten to mix             

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water    

300g plain flour

Heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3

In a saucepan melt the butter, golden syrup, black treacle, sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Melt it gently. Sometimes I get impatient and turn up the heat to get it all melted quickly but then it can get too hot to add to the other ingredients, which can make the flour all lumpy.

Think slow, calm cooking! 

Off the heat add the milk, eggs, and dissolved bicarbonate of soda. Then add the flour, beating until it's well mixed. This will give you a really runny batter. This is exactly what you want.

Pour it into a roasting tin (about 30 x 20 x 5cm greased and lined with Bake-O-Glide or parchment - I actually usally use a square tin that's about 25 x 25 cm and it works just fine!)   

Cook it for about 40-45 minutes. The cake wants to be well risen and firm but not overcooked. This is the key to the ginerbread's success. If you cook it too long it will become a ginger cake (a tasty one) but not sticky gingerbread. The cake continues to cook while it is cooling too. I've sometimes overcooked this cake (especially when cooking it in a new oven) but I've never undercooked it. For your first attempt I'd recommend 40 minutes.

When it's cooled cut it into squares and enjoy with a lovely cup of tea. You deserve it.

You could make this cake for your loved one for Valentine's Day next week! x     


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