I mention gingerbread here not only because of its association with the Leccese baroque, but because there is a sculptural pleasure in making it. Take down your gingerbread moulds, wash them and dry them, then later sprinkle them with fine flour, otherwise the paste will stick when you come to take the imprint.
Put in a pan and stir till melted: a large cup of black treacle; 60g (2oz) of butter; 100g (3½oz) brown sugar; 1 large breakfast cup of boiling water.
Sift into this sticky mass 2½cups of plain flour, 1teaspoon of powdered ginger, ½teaspoon of powdered cinnamon and ½teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in alittleboiling water, adding apinch of salt.
Knead with a wooden spoon until smooth and very stiff to work. Add more flour if it doesn’t seem stiff enough. Knead it well and roll out to 1cm (¼") thickness on a floured board. Press the dough into the mould. To take a proper imprint the paste must be very stiff. (Sprinkle with more flour and work again, if you are in doubt.) Set the mould upright and carefully ease out the paste. Put it on a buttered oven plaque and bake in a slow oven; you can tell by the smell when it is cooked. Take it out, ease the gingerbread onto a wire tray and leave it to cool, when it will harden. (Look out! If the oven is too hot, the pattern will vanish.)