Remember Remember the Fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot! The Fifth of November, when Guido Fawkes ( and others ) tried to Blow Up the Houses of Parliament, and assassinate King James 1 (James 6 of Scotland in 1605 ). Needless to say it didn’t work and Poor old Guido was found guilty and was due to be Hung Drawn and Quartered, but fell from the scaffold and broke his neck instead !
Subsequently, as fires were burnt to celebrate the safety of the King, November 5 th has become known as Bonfire Night.
Unfortunately, today children celebrate Hallowe’en more often than Bonfire Night, but traditionally, sausages were eaten and cakes were made, namely Gingerbread ( not biscuits) and Parkin.
Therefore today, I made some gingerbread. It has been many years since I have made it and actually finding a recipe ( without googling) proved to be more difficult than I had imagined. But found it I did.
Old and I mean really old and even handwritten cook books are a very useful source for such recipes and so here it is.
Heat the oven to 350 F, 160 C ( fan oven ), 180 C normal oven.
- 100 grms soft unsalted butter
- 100 grms dark brown sugar
- 175 grms Black treacle
- 175 grms golden syrup
- 100 mls milk
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons of each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
- 50 mls sherry or port
- 350 grms plain flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100 grms of dried fruit, eg sultanas or raisins.
Put all of the ingredients, EXCEPT the fruit into a food processor and whizz to amalgamate everything well.
Stir in the fruit.
Pour the mixture into a well greased shallow pan ( 12″x9″ approx) and bake in the preheated oven and bake for about 50 mins. Cool on a wire rack, when cool cut into squares and pop in a cake tin.
Of course, way back when, cooks would cream, butter and sugar, beat in the eggs add flour , spices etc. They didn’t possess a food processor but it certainly makes life so much easier.
Oh and it is worth noting,kept in a tin or wrapped in aluminium foil, the cake gets better, it will get sticky and more moist.