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I made this gingerbread a few days ago for my blackberry picking expedition in the woods. Or to be more precise ‘bramble dodging’, as I tend to get swept into the bushes seduced by one shiny batch of perfect berries to the next, eventually arriving waist deep in brambles. So, after eventually scrambling out this afternoon sporting a hairstyle like Kate Bush I might add, I sat on an old oak log and had myself a little picnic of blackberries and gingerbread. This cake/bread actually keeps for one week and eats better after the second day. 

Old fashioned treacle with  ginger make a great partnership for this cake with grated apple keeping it extra moist. It isn’t sickeningly sweet, making it ideal buttered and savoured with a cuppa any time or just eating as is solo on the go! 
I could regale you with advice on just how beneficial ginger is in the diet for all sorts of ailments, to name a few – a digestive aid for nausea, links with arthritis, blood disorders etc,. but I’m just going to go ahead and give you this recipe that I have been using for years. It’s delicious warm gentle spiciness is comforting as the autumnal chill approaches.


  • 150g/5oz stem ginger or raw ginger

  • 1 large cooking apple

  • 125g/4oz black treacle

  • 125g/4oz golden syrup

  • 175g/6oz brown sugar

  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter/margarine

  • 225g/8oz plain white flour

  • 125g/4oz wholemeal flour

  • 1tsp ground mixed spice

  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)

  • 2 medium free range eggs

Preheat the oven to 160 C or 325 F.  Grease and line a 7 inch deep square cake tin or two rectangular loaf tins. Thinly slice the ginger pieces and peel and core the apple.  If using raw ginger just grate it. 
Put the treacle, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and add the butter/margarine.  Heat gently until the butter melts and let it cool slightly. 
Sift the plain flour, bread soda and spice into a bowl and add the wholemeal flour and grate the apple into the mixture.  Toss lightly and then add the treacle/butter liquid, eggs and the ginger pieces.  Beat well and pour into the prepared tin spreading into the corners evenly. Pare an apple or pear thinly with a potato slicer or knife and layer onto the cake, pushing down gently. 
Bake for 1 hour and twenty minutes and leave to cool in the tin. Brush with apricot jam or syrup from the jar of stem ginger if using. 
Gingerbread keeps well for a week stored in an airtight container and is best eaten a few days after baking. 
Worth the wait!