Gingerbread has always appeared to me to be quite fiddly to make so I was relatively impressed when I came across this recipe.
Hansel and Gretel at The Gingerbread House (c1911)
I keep most of the ingredients for this recipe in my store cupboard although I tend not to have Muscovado sugar or black treacle, but both are readily available at the local supermarket and are cheap enough to add to my shopping trolley. Likewise, I don’t often buy ginger beer but, again, this is quite cheap to buy at the local supermarket and a glass of ginger beer makes a pleasant change from lemonade and coke as a cold drink so whatever’s left over won’t go to waste!!The most expensive thing on the list is the candied ginger but even that’s well within most people’s budget, particularly if you’re planning to make a “cake to impress” for afternoon tea when the in-laws come over! It can usually be found on the “baking” shelf alongside the dried fruit.
100 g (4 oz) Muscovado sugar
75 g (3 oz) Butter
75 g (3 oz) Golden syrup
75 g (3 oz) Black treacle
225 g (9 oz) Plain flour
1 tsp Ground ginger
1 ½ tsp Baking powder
1 ½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp Mixed spice
100 ml (4 fl oz) Ginger beer
50 ml (2 fl oz) Full-fat milk
1 Large egg, beaten
75 g (3 oz) Candied ginger, chopped
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Melt the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat.
Sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the mixed spice into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the melted butter mixture from the saucepan.
Add the ginger beer, milk, egg and the candied ginger and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a1kg (2lb) loaf tin lined with baking parchment and bake in 40-50 minutes.
Test the bread after about 40 minutes by pressing the top gently, if it springs back it’s done; If not then put it back in the oven for a bit longer.
When it’s cooked, take it out of the oven, allow it to cool and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool off completely before undergoing the traditional “cook’s taste test” over a nice cup of tea or coffee!!
And that’s it!!