Sticky Gingerbread

This recipe is from Nigella. That should be enough for you. I’ll wait while you immediately rush out to the shops for ingredients then preheat your oven.

Back? Good.

So, Nigella. Perhaps she could do with dropping a few of the innuendos. Maybe not every foodstuff needs to be preceded with 5 slightly sexy adjectives. Maybe. But who wouldn’t slink down to their fridge at midnight in a silk dressing gown if their fridge was as well stocked as I imagine hers to be?!

And this? This is the food of Christmas dreams. It is dark and spicy, sticky and damp. Eat it on its own or – wild card option – alongside a wedge of strong cheese (cheddar or maybe even a blue). Dammit, now I’m hungry…

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Makes approx 20 squares

You will need a roasting tin or ovenproof dish (approx. 30cm x 20cm x 5cm)

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 200g black treacle
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300g plain flour
  • Icing sugar, for dusting (my preference is for it to contain edible glitter at all times. Glitter is not just for Christmas)

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F. Grease the tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment – this is important as it is a very wet batter.

In a saucepan melt the butter over a medium-low heat along with the sugar, syrup, treacle, fresh and ground gingers, cinnamon and cloves.

Take off the heat and add the milk, eggs and dissolved bicarbonate of soda. Measure the flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until well mixed.

Pour it into the prepared tin and bake for 35–45 minutes until risen and firm on top. Test with a skewer after 30 minutes until it comes out clean. Try not to overcook, as it will carry on cooking as it cools and is all the better for being a little sticky and moist (sorry).

Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool in the tin before cutting into 20 squares, or however you wish to slice it. It will keep in a cake tin for a couple of weeks, and indeed will get better after a few days.

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