FOOD & DRINK / A-Z OF Treats: Gingerbread

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G is for gingerbread, continuing our alphabet of sweet indulgences. Spicy gingerbread is part of a very old British tradition, and as simple to make as it is delicious to eat. In the heartiest old Scottish recipes, beer is added and the bread leavened with brewer's yeast. The recipe below, however, is not a sticky, heavy ginger cake, but elegant and light.


8 oz self-raising flour

3 oz unsalted butter

3 oz sugar

6 tablespoons golden syrup

(or black treacle for a deeper flavour)

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoonfuls powdered ginger

1/4 pint milk

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 oz preserved stem ginger

(or, if you like, raisins)

Cut the butter into dice. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating with a wooden spoon, and stir in the flour, powdered ginger and bicarbonate of soda.

Gradually beat in the eggs, milk, syrup (or treacle) and the ginger (or raisins).

Butter and flour a loaf tin about 7 in by 4 in, and 3 in deep, and fill with the mixture.

Bake in preheated oven 350F/180C/Gas 4 for 40 to 45 minutes. Test with a skewer; when it comes out clean, the gingerbread is ready. Cool in tin.