I'm a huge fan of very dark, sticky and spicy gingerbread and the last time I baked one, I posted it way back in 2011 here, so it's been a long wait...
Unlike the earlier gingerbread, this one won't knock your socks off, but it is a good, moist loaf with chunks of stem ginger and sultanas. If you can, use stem ginger (I used Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup which comes in a jar) as it really adds to the flavour of the loaf. If not, leave it out (you'll still get the taste from the ground ginger) or use chopped crystallized ginger instead.
Like most gingerbread loaves it improves with age over a week but as noted in my last gingerbread post, I've never tested that theory as nothing ever lasts that long (unless it's inedible).
And, as I've used one in my photo, let me just say how much I love hellebores or winter roses. I have little clumps of them under trees and their hidden beauty always makes me smile. One trick I learned from an English home and garden magazine was to leave the picked hellebores somewhere midway between the cold outside and warmth inside (the entrance way works for us) to let them adjust to a warmer temperature. They then won't droop so quickly when they feel the heat. Me? I never droop in the heat - bring it on!
Ginger & Sultana Loaf
100g dark cane (or soft brown) sugar
1 egg, beaten
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
150ml warm milk
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped (optional)
(I addany syrup clinging to the stem ginger too - nice & sticky!)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
Grease and line a loaf tin.
Place the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan and heat gently until melted, stirring constantly. Allow to cool slightly, then beat in the egg.
Sift the flour and spices into a mixing bowl, then stir in the melted mixture and beat well to combine.
Mix the milk with the bicarbonate of soda and add this to the mix. Stir in the sultanas and the stem ginger.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin.