As no air is beaten into this style of moist cake, its lightness comes from a raising agent, in this case, bicarbonate of soda. I like to make gingerbread extra spicy by adding chopped crystallized ginger but you can also add some sultanas, raisins or walnuts for extra gooeyness and texture. Gingerbread gets even stickier if wrapped and left for a few days in an airtight tin before cutting.

Prepare a 25 × 18 cm (10 × 7 in) shallow rectangular tin and preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.

  1. Sift 125 g (4 oz) plain flour with 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 1 teaspoon mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Stir in 75 g (3 oz) chopped crystallized or stem ginger. Stir in 125 g (4 oz) plain wholemeal flour.

  2. Using a spoon dipped in hot water, measure out 4 tablespoons each of golden syrup and black treacle into a saucepan. Melt with 125 g (4 oz) butter over a low heat. Stir in 50 g (2 oz) soft brown sugar. Pour the mixture into the large mixing bowl and beat well.

  3. Mix in 1 beaten egg and 150 ml (¼ pint) milk. Pour into the tin and bake for about 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 2–3 minutes, then turn out, peel off the paper and invert on to a wire rack. Cool completely and cut into squares.