A lighter version of parkin, this ginger and apple loaf cake has a lovely warming flavour and a soft texture. It's incredibly easy to make and - if you happen to have a tin of treacle - pretty much uses storecupboard ingredients. You can jazz it up with a lemony icing if you like, but we generally keep it plain so we can tuck in quicker.
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 50g light brown sugar
- 50g soft butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons black treacle
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 150ml milk
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- A couple of dates, chopped (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, spices, salt and sugar. Stir.
3. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingers until it's mixed in.
4. Add the eggs and treacle and stir in well, until you have a smooth mixture. Add the apple slices and dates (if using), holding back a few slices of apple if you want to decorate the top with them.
5. Stir in the milk, then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well again.
6. Pour into the tin and then put some apple slices on top if using.
7. Bake in the over for 40 minutes to an hour, or until the skewer comes out clean. It should be well risen and golden.
8. Cool it in the tin, then move to a cooling rack and put the kettle on!
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