Dessert: makes 1x20cm loaf, 8-10 slices. Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
As well as eating it at teatime, serve it warm with an apple compote and dollop of cream on top for pudding.

175 g unsalted butter, softened
175 g light muscovado sugar
3 heaped tbsp black treacle
1 large free-range egg, beaten
300 g plain flour, sifted
50 g ground almonds
50 g raisins
50 g currants
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
125 ml beer

Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2. Cream the butter and sugar together, either in a mixer or food processor, or by hand. Heat the treacle very gently to melt it, then tip it into the bowl, add the egg and mix together. If using a food processor transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the flour, ground almonds, dried fruit, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Once everything is well-combined, stir in the beer and blend thoroughly.

Tip the mixture into a buttered non-stick 20cm loaf tin, and bake for about one and a half hours, covering it with foil for the last half hour if it appears to be colouring. Check for readiness after about one and a quarter hours by inserting a skewer into the centre, which should come out clean. Leave to cool then turn out of the tin and keep wrapped in foil.

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