Courtesy of Mother Dearest, origins lost in the mists of time. The recipe I’ve been given is mainly by volume. I’ve faithfully measured out the quantities using metric cups (250mL) but weighing the results just to make sure. To remove any doubt the teaspoon is also metric; five millilitres.
- ½ cup caster sugar (100g)
- ½ cup black treacle (160g)
- ½ cup butter (110g – you don’t need to wrestle butter into a cup measure!)
- 1 level teasp bicarb soda dissolved in a small quantity of hot water
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1½ cups plain flour (180g)
- pinch salt
- 1 level tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp of ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
- a solitary clove, crushed
- ½ cup milk soured with ½ tsp vinegar
- Melt the sugar, butter and treacle in large saucepan. Stir gently until sugar dissolved but do not boil.
- Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add dissolved soda and stir. Yes, it will get very frisky at this point. That’s why I said a large mixing bowl.
- Allow to cool for around half an hour.
- Mix in the beaten egg, and the salt and spices.
- Add flour alternately with the milk. Make sure each consignment of milk is stirred in well before adding next addition of flour or unappetising lumps will ensue. It should be a sort of thick claggy pouring consistency.
- Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin. It will probably go less than a quarter of the way up the side but you will need the other three.
- Bake in moderate oven (180ºC, or about 160ºC in a fan-forced) for about fifty minutes. Cover with paper or foil if it begins to brown too early. A metal skewer will come out clean if it’s done.
Suitable for freezing although it keeps well – the bacteria aren’t game to go near all that sugar. Wrap in foil and keep somewhere dark. It’s good served either hot or cold, and even better with some cream.