• 115g butter
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons black treacle
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150mls milk
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

I met my friend Georgie at college. At 16 I was rather shallowly initially attracted to her alabaster skin, curly dark brown hair and the fact she always ordered a cup of coffee and a Kit Kat for her lunch from the now defunct Hard Rock Cafe.

My shallow reasons turned out to be a good hunch. She’s a keeper. Georgie has many great qualities; she can drink vats of red wine – or gin for that matter, and still conduct a meaningful conversation, she gives tea and chocolate bars to homeless people, she is one of the few women I know who didn’t go on a tedious diet before her wedding and she always gets multi coloured boobs when she sunbathes. Oh and did I mention she can cook?

It’s genetic you see. (Her mother is an Aga demonstrator.) For Christmas Georgie bestowed on me a gift that was both thoughtful and very precious – a homemade cookbook with some of her own recipes written into it. This is one of them. It ticks quite a few boxes. It’s easy. It’s made using stuff I have in my cupboards. It’s gingery. It’s sweet. It reheats in the microwave into a syrupy pudding perfect with custard. And it’s sticky enough to warrant the use of a wet wipe or three.

Good friends who give you their fail safe recipes are like gold dust. In fact, my bunch are a talented lot. Please get ready for a shameless plug to my pal Alison’s facebook page where she showcases the wonderful handmade jewellery she sells. Clever girl. One friend who can cook, one who can make jewellery. I have a vacancy for one who makes wine.

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons black treacle
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150mls milk
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

Georgie’s instructions are very straightforward:

Grease and line an 8 inch tin. Pre-heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Put the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle into a saucepan and heat until melted.

Mix the eggs and milk together. Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture to the saucepan of melted ingredients, then add the egg mixture and beat until you have a smooth batter. (I used a wooden spoon for this.)

Pour into tin and cook for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10 mins then pop onto a cooling wire and cut into squares when cold.

My top tip is to add some chopped stem ginger – maybe two or three of the rounded ginger blobs you get in syrup. This ginger cake might also respond well to a little lemon icing – just lemon juice and icing sugar. Oh, and if this is going to be sent to school/work in packed lunches (which it very much should be) then do remember to wrap in greaseproof paper before you wrap in foil. The little blighters have a habit of sticking to foil thus losing the best, most sticky bit.

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