Yorkshire Christmas Gingerbread

This wonderful, spicy gingerbread is traditionally eaten at Christmas in Yorkshire, where it is served with cheese. It would also be delicious spread with butter and jam or honey.

10-

8 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter, cut into small pieces 15 fl. oz. dark treacle or molasses 8 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

8 oz. mixed candied peel, chopped

8 oz. sugar

1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1| lb. flour

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

Line a 10-inch round cake tin with a 10-inch circle of greaseproof or waxed paper. Lightly grease the tin and paper with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Tie a double thickness of greaseproof or waxed paper round the outside of the tin. Set aside.

Place the remaining butter and the treacle or molasses in a medium-sized saucepan and place the pan over moderate heat.

Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sultanas or seedless raisins, candied peel, sugar, soda, coriander, cloves, caraway seeds and ginger.

Pour the butter mixture into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well blended. Gradually add the flour, stirring well until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth over the top with the back of the spoon. Place the tin in the lower part of the oven and bake for 2f to 3 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the gingerbread comes out clean. Remove the tin from the oven.

Allow the gingerbread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

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