A slice of gingerbread lavishly spread with butter makes a great addition to a tea party. Ann Parsons certainly enjoys baking ginger cakes, which rate among her favourites. She likes the fact that the longer you leave them the better they taste, though she is the first to admit they taste pretty good when taken straight out of the oven.


4oz (100g) butter 6oz (150g) black treacle 2oz (50g) golden syrup ¼ pint (125ml) milk 2 free-range eggs — beaten 8oz (200g) plain flour 2oz (50g) caster sugar 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tspn mixed spice 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda Pinch salt.


Turn the oven to 170C/235F or gas mark 3 and line a 7-8 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Place treacle, syrup and butter into a pan and heat until the butter has dissolved, remove from the heat, add the milk and allow to cool for five minutes before stirring in the eggs.

Place all other ingredients into a mixing bowl and slowly stir in the liquid mix, until you have obtained a smooth batter.

Pour batter into baking tin and cook for about 1¼ to 1½ hours, or until firm to the touch.

Turn out and leave to cool before attempting to cut. But remember that if you can resist it, this treat will taste even better if stored in an airtight tin until the next day.