There's no better accompaniment for a hot pot of tea than this gingerbread from Rachel Allen.
- 60 g (2½oz) butter
- 75 g (3oz) treacle
- 50 g (2oz) golden syrup
- 140 g (4¾oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 100 g (3½oz) caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 125 ml (4½fl oz) milk
- for the syrup
- 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
- 2 tsp finely grated root ginger, or finely chopped crystallised ginger
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Line the base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Melt the butter, treacle and golden syrup in a small saucepan on a low heat, then set aside.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the spices, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, then add the milk and the melted butter mixture and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth – it will have a wet sloppy consistency.
- Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50–55 minutes until risen and firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Wait for at least 45 minutes before opening the oven to check whether the gingerbread has cooked, otherwise it can collapse in the centre.)
- While the gingerbread is cooking, make the syrup. Place the sugar and ginger in a small saucepan with 75ml (3fl oz) water, bring to the boil over a medium heat and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy.
- Once the gingerbread is cooked, take it out of the oven and, leaving it in the tin, pierce it all over the top with a fine skewer, then pour the syrup over and leave to cool completely.
- When the gingerbread is cold, take it out of the tin and serve.